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Medford administrator named Elementary Principal of the Year Print E-mail

ginny-hicks-2Ginny Hicks, principal of Griffin Creek Elementary School in Medford, has been selected as the Oregon candidate for the National Distinguished Principal (NDP) Award.  Chosen by the Oregon Elementary School Principals Association (OESPA), the NDP winner is recognized as the state's elementary school principal of the year. 

Hicks has been principal of the rural school since 1999; prior to that she served as principal of Roosevelt Elementary School, also in the Medford district.  She has made a profound difference in each school by placing emphasis on both reading and math, and by actively engaging parent volunteers.  Griffin Creek has twice received an "Exceptional" rating on the Oregon state report card.  In the 2004-05 Oregon state test scores, 91 percent of third grade students met or exceeded the state standards in reading, while 98 percent of fifth graders met or exceeded state standards.  In math problem solving, 100 percent of fifth graders met or exceeded state standards, and in the area of science, 98 percent met or exceeded standards. 

An administrator who believes in leading by example, Hicks has trained students, parents, student teachers, teachers and administrators.  She can be seen jogging in every school fun run, digging in the dirt with students, and frequently visiting classrooms.  She was named Outstanding Woman Educator in 2001 by Alpha Delta Kappa, and received a Distinguished Service Award from the Jacksonville-Applegate Rotary in 2002. 

Hicks was the inspiration behind her school's creation of a Sparrow Club four years ago.  A "Sparrow" school "adopts" a medically fragile child, while students participate in community service to help raise money for the child's recovery.  In their most successful project, the school raised $15,000 to purchase an electric wheelchair for a student with muscular dystrophy.  Hicks recently presented a workshop at the NAESP Convention sharing with other principals how they may start a Sparrow Club in their school.  In response to Hurricane Katrina, her students worked with the National Guard to collect shoes, school supplies, and other personal items for people in the devastated region.

One of her classroom teachers, Jacqueline Taylor, puts it this way: "While she pays close, creative attention to so many details during her day as principal, the greatest appreciation I feel for Ginny is in how she relentlessly searches for the keys that unlock the child who needs her.  It is the mighty hand-up that Ginny gives so willingly and selflessly to our special students and their families." 

The National Distinguished Principal Award is given jointly by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the U.S Department of Education, and AIG Valic.  As the Oregon winner, Hicks will attend a special recognition ceremony in Washington D.C. October 26-27, 2006.

This page was last updated on Thursday, May 25, 2006 .