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Oregon City leader named state's Middle School Principal of the Year Print E-mail

chris-mills.jpgOregon City Principal Chris Mills has been named Oregon Middle School Principal of the Year by the Oregon Association of Secondary School Administrators (OASSA) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).  Mills, principal of Gardiner Middle School, was honored last week at the 35th Annual COSA Professional Development Conference in Seaside.

Mills has been principal at Gardiner for 11 years, where he and his staff implemented a professional learning communities (PLC) approach in 2005.  The result has been an increased focus on students, with teacher teams using PLC data to identify students who need additional academic support.  Lunch-time study halls, after-school tutoring and homeroom/advisory support are available to all Gardiner students.  "The team approach increases teachers' awareness of each and every student at the school," Mills wrote in his application.  "Teachers are able to support the academic, developmental, social and personal needs of students.  I am excited that through teacher leadership we are designing an enriched intervention program for the 2009-10 school year."

Mills is recognized as a collaborative leader, and he has used those skills over the past eleven years to bring teachers, counselors, classified staff and parents together to help transform Gardiner, according to Oregon City Superintendent Roger Rada.  "Chris Mills is the finest middle school principal I have encountered in my 36 years in education," Rada said. "Several years ago, Gardiner's reputation caused many parents to question the advisability of sending their children there.  It was known as a rough school, where students performed poorly on state assessments.  Today, Gardiner's academic performance places it on the front page of the Oregonian."

As the Oregon Middle School Principal of the Year, Mills will participate in a special Principal's Institue and Awards Banquet in Washington, D.C.  If selected as a finalist for the National Principal of the Year Award, he will be recognized at the NASSP Convention in Phoenix, Ariz.  He will also be honored at the OASSA/OESPA Principals Conference at Sunriver in October.

This page was last updated on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 .