Mountain View Principal to Receive National Education Award

A Mountain View elementary school principal is heading to Washington, D.C. for national recognition.

Heidi Smith at Huff Elementary School has been named a 2015 recipient of the Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership. Only seven principals across the country receive the honor annually.

“As a leader among many great leaders on Huff’s campus and in the Mountain View Whisman School District in Silicon Valley, I feel honored, humbled, and proud to be recognized as an educational leader at the national level,” said Smith via email while taking doctoral classes in Los Angeles.

“I am excited about leveraging this moment to collaborate with and learn from the other six leaders selected, participate in valuable national breakout discussions, and be a voice from the field to policy makers in Washington. Doing the right thing for children seems simple, but it is not always an easy task for school leaders given the wide variety of variables for each school and district. Persistence and great team members make it all work,” Smith said.

The U.S. Department of Education along with partner organizations present the Bell Awards to principals of National Blue Ribbon Schools for “their outstanding work and the vital role they play in guiding their students and schools to excellence, frequently under challenging circumstances.”

Principals are nominated for the award by their school communities during the final stages of the program's application process to become a National Blue Ribbon School. Huff Elementary became one of 335 schools this year to be named a Blue ribbon school based on "their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups."

“I think its recognition of the hard work that she and the leaders of the school have put in to make Huff a blue ribbon school,” said Dr. Ayinde Rudolph, Superintendent of the Mountain View Whisman School District. “We’re fortunate to have some great leaders.”

Smith will be recognized during an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Nov. 9th at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

“This certainly is motivating and exciting, but our work does not stop at this recognition—Team Huff has already been planning our next level of work to continue supporting the academic and social emotional growth of all children,” Smith said. “It affirms the work that children, teachers, classified staff, parents and I engage in every day.”

Smith will be recognized during an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Nov. 9th at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

Prior to Smith, Principal Liana Szeto of Alice Fong Yu Alternative School in San Francisco was the last Bay Area educator to win the award in 2012.

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