Smokey Road’s Barron receives statewide honor

Smokey Road Middle School Principal Dr. Laurie Barron has been named as Georgia’s 2012 Middle School Principal of the Year by the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals. Photo/Special.

It was an honor that is hard to beat. And it was one that named Coweta County’s Smokey Road Middle School Principal Dr. Laurie Barron the 2012 Georgia Middle School Principal of the Year.

The award is made each year by the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals (GASSP). Barron learned that she had been selected to receive the honor on Feb. 14 when GASSP officials arrived at the school for a surprise visit, said Coweta County School System spokesman Dean Jackson. Later that day GASSP Executive Director Melton Callahan announced the selection in a meeting of the school’s staff, Jackson said.

“We’re proud of her,” said Superintendent Steve Barker during the presentation ceremony. ”We are proud of you, because we know this is a group effort.”  

The announcement was a surprise to Barron but not to her husband, Daniel, who made sure that he and their three daughters arrived at Smokey Road in time for the presentation.

“It’s everyone here who deserves the award. All the credit goes back to the staff and teachers here.  There’s no school that can be effective without a strong, high-quality staff, and this honor represents all the good things that the people here do,” Barron said on receiving the honor. “This was one of the few times in my life when I have been left truly speechless. I look forward to representing our school and system and state at the national level. And to have my family here to share in this made it really wonderful.”

Jackson said that as GASSP’s Middle School Principal of the Year, Barron is a candidate for National Middle School Principal of the Year. She will attend the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) annual conference in Tampa in March, as a guest of GASSP, and will attend a ceremony in Washington, D.C., in September to represent Georgia in NASSP’s Middle School Principal of the Year competition.

Barron has served as the principal of Smokey Road Middle School since 2004. A 16-year educator, Barron taught English at Newnan High School for six years before becoming an assistant Principal at Arnall Middle school and moving to become the principal at Smokey Road. She earned her B.A. from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Administration and Supervision from the State University of West Georgia and both Specialist and Doctorate degrees in Educational Leadership from the University of Sarasota.

Barron currently serves on the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education Partnership Council and is an active member of the Georgia Association of Middle School Principals and the Georgia and National Association of Secondary School Principals and has recently served on the Governor’s Education Advisory Board for Principals. She has also received the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders Outstanding Middle Level Educator Award and the Georgia Association of Middle School Principals Exemplary Leadership Award. Barron is also a National Board Certified teacher and was Newnan High School Teacher of the Year in 1999 and Newnan High School STAR Teacher 2000 and 2001.

The GASSP Principal of the Year recognition program is sponsored by NASSP and MetLife.

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