Rochester principal named recipient of Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – A principal at Rochester Public Schools’ Lincoln K-8 District-wide School is one of nine recipients nationwide of the Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership for 2022.
According to the announcement from the U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel A. Cardona, Principal Jim Sonju will be honored during the National Blue Ribbon Schools awards ceremony Nov. 3 in Washington along with the other eight recipients.
“We are extremely proud of Principal Sonju and the work he does for Rochester Public Schools,” RPS Superintendent Kent Pekel said. “His leadership is exemplary as is evidenced by this recent award, Lincoln receiving a Blue Ribbon Award, and his years of service to RPS. Jim cares so much about the Lincoln school community that he regularly gets a bit choked up when talking about students, staff, and families of that wonderful school. I love that about him.”
Named for the second U.S. secretary of education, Terrel H. Bell, the Bell Award honors school leaders who are committed to education as a powerful and liberating force in people’s lives. The award is part of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program.
Principals are nominated by their school communities during the final stages of the National Blue Ribbon Schools application process.
“We have an amazing staff and Lincoln K-8 community that do incredible work every day for students,” Principal Jim Sonju said. “I am truly blessed to be a part of such an incredible school, team, and District.”
“As a former principal, I understand the vital role school leaders play in shaping school culture and welcoming learning environments, improving student achievement outcomes, and empowering teachers to meet the needs of their students,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said. “The nine school leaders receiving this year’s Terrel Bell awards have raised the bar for building positive school climates, increasing achievement, and finding creative ways to nurture, engage, and support students, families, educators, and school staff. At a time when principals and other school leaders face many challenges, from addressing students’ unmet mental health needs to accelerating their academic recovery from the pandemic, the Department of Education is proud to recognize the essential work they do each day.”
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