Principal of the year
Sheila Harrity, principal of Worcester Technical High School in Worcester Public Schools in Massachusetts, won the principal of the year award from the National Association of Secondary School Principals and MetLife. Since arriving at the school in 2006, graduation rates rose from 80 to 97 percent.
Richard Lyons, superintendent of Regional School Unit 22 in Maine, won the Dr. Alice Duckworth Achievement in Education Award from the New England Association of School Superintendents. The award goes to an educational leader who exemplifies outstanding service to the community, students, and the profession.
Secretary of education
Rebecca Holcombe will become Vermont’s secretary of education in January. She is the head of Dartmouth College’s teacher training program, and is the first new secretary of education to be appointed since 2012 legislation reorganized the department, which will now be led by a secretary reporting to the governor.
Urban education award
Under Superintendent Terry B. Grier, the Houston ISD won the Broad Prize for Urban Education, and will receive $550,000 in college scholarships for its high school seniors. The award honors urban districts that have improved acadmic achievement for low-income and minority students.
Special education change
Providence Public Schools in Rhode Island, under Superintendent Susan Lusi, now integrates students with disabilities into some general education classes. The change allows students, who were formerly in a separate wing, to be held to higher academic standards and explore post-graduation opportunities.