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Salem-Keizer leader named middle school principal of year Print E-mail

susan-rieke-smith.jpgSusan Rieke-Smith, Houck Middle School Principal since 2007, has been named the Oregon Middle School Principal of the Year by the Oregon Association of Secondary School Administrators (OASSA) and the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA).  This award automatically places Rieke-Smith in the running for the National Middle School Principal of the Year Award from the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and MetLife.

Under Rieke-Smith’s leadership, Houck Middle School has experienced significant improvement in student achievement, particularly among the 30 percent of students receiving ELL/limited-English proficiency services and the 85 percent of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches.  The percentages of economically disadvantaged students rated as proficient or advanced on state assessments have increased in reading (53 percent in 2007-08 to 63 percent in 2009-10) and math (60 percent in 2007-08 to 73 percent in 2009-10).  The percentages of ELL students rated as proficient or advanced on state assessments have increased in reading (37 percent in 2007-08 to 49 percent in 2009-10) and math (48 percent in 2007-08 to 64 percent in 2009-10).

“Sue is an exceptional instructional leader who supports high quality learning for all students,” said Melissa Cole, Salem-Keizer’s Director of Middle School Education.  “She has fostered a culture of collaboration where teachers engage in discussions focusing on improving instruction.  As a result of her collaborative leadership style, she has equipped her staff with the skills to sustain school improvement.”

Rieke-Smith is a leader in using student data and the latest research to help teachers inform and improve instruction, according to Claggett Creek Middle School Principal Colleen Johnson.  “Sue is not a principal who leads from her office,” Johnson said.  “She knows her teachers’ strengths and their challenges because she is in the classroom alongside them.  She has high expectations for staff and students at Houck, and she knows that in order for them to reach their goals, she must support their needs and involve families and community.”

Rieke-Smith will be honored at the 37th Annual COSA Professional Development Conference in Seaside, June 22-24.  She will also be honored Sept. 21-24 at the NASSP State Principals of the Year Institute and Awards Gala in Washington, D.C.

This page was last updated on Monday, June 20, 2011 .