Principal takes part in panel

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The principal at an Albany elementary school tapped for national recognition was called to the nation's capital in November to speak as part of a Blue Ribbon Panel of principals.

Principal Pat Victor of Alice Coachman Elementary School was one of three principals called to Washington to speak on the significance of being named a Blue Ribbon school.

In 2009, Alice Coachman was one of only 314 schools across the nation named a Blue Ribbon Award winner by the U.S. Department of Education.

According to the DOE's Blue Ribbon website, the award "honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools that are either high performing or have improved student achievement to high levels, especially among disadvantaged students. The program is part of a larger Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about best school leadership and teaching practices."

Victor joined the head of Ocean View Elementary in Norfolk, Va., and the John S. Walsh Elementary School in Fresno, Calif., as panelists at a forum meant to spread quality educational practices and messages to 300 attendees and teachers throughout the nation.

With 96 percent of the Alice Coachman student body eligible for free or reduced student meals, Victor spoke on how her faculty and staff were helping students overcome social and economic disadvantages while increasing performance in the classroom, Dougherty County School System spokesperson R.D. Harter said.

In awarding the designation to Alice Coachman, the Blue Ribbon Committee pointed to the school's focus on creating a pro-education environment and culture, its stable and distributed leadership, its focus on parental involvement and its dedication to community engagement.