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TEXARKANA — October is National Principals Month, and districts around Texarkana have been recognizing and showing appreciation for their principals in different ways.

Whether it's posting an message on Facebook or deploying the #ThankAPrincipal hashtag, principals are being shown great appreciation by their districts.

Superintendents at the four school districts here had a lot to says about their principal assets.


Liberty-Eylau ISD Superintendent

Ronnie Thompson:

"Principals are some of the most important leaders in a school district. They must constantly balance working with students, teachers, parents, and upper administration throughout their busy days.

Liberty-Eylau is fortunate to have a team of campus principals who help us fulfill our mission of reaching each student where they are helping to prepare them for a great future.

Amy Norwood at our Early Childhood Center, Kristi Brown at Liberty-Eylau Elementary, Marlon Byrdsong at the Middle School, Kendrick Smith at Liberty-Eylau High School, and Diane Tyler at our alternative campus lead dynamic, diverse teams of teachers and staff with class and poise."

Thompson said a campus will directly reflect the quality of its leadership and improve because of the men and women who lead them.

"This year with COVID has been especially challenging for our district," he said. "Much of the real time shifting and adjusting has been left in the hands of our principals. The fact that we never wavered in our mission or standards speaks volumes about the work they do every day."


Texarkana ISD

Acting Superintendent

Autumn Thomas:

"An aspect within the Tiger culture is hiring and valuing strong leadership throughout the district. This key characteristic is one you will find within all TISD principals.

"Our campus principals set the standard of excellence for those they lead — both staff and students. Principals are student focused on academic expectations as well as the provision of programs and services for the whole child. Whether it is school clubs, experiences, leadership skills, character education, our principals continually look for ways to address the needs of the students on their campus. While doing that, they are also looking at ways to keep their school community engaged, work with volunteers who are serving their school and find ways to address whole family issues that a student may be experiencing."

Thomas said a strong principal inspires their staff through their actions and directions and works with each staff member so that they can achieve their goals.

"Each campus principal's individuality and personality sets the tone for their campus," she said. "In working with their staff, they create different ways to develop programs which address the needs of their respective students. This campus personality, if you will, becomes a common thread within the staff and students who work and learn there."


Chad Pirtle

Pleasant Grove ISD Superintendent

Chad Pirtle:

"The principals in the Pleasant Grove Independent School District are crucial to achieving our mission of ensuring high levels of learning for all students. Our principals work daily to build strong relationships with students, staff, parents, and community members to provide a world class learning environment for our students. They also engage their students by name on a daily basis, encouraging them to excel in both academic and extracurricular activities.

Pirtle said each principal exudes his or her individual personality on each campus while aligning to the district's mission and vision. This promotes unified growth within the district while maintaining the unique character of each campus. The standard for educational leadership is set by PG principals.

He said, "Pleasant Grove is proud of the leadership and daily commitment to student learning by our campus leaders: High School Principal Todd Marshall with Assistant Principals Kristen Giles and Neal Kiser; Middle School Principal Ashley Barker with Associate Principal Zach Fowler and Assistant Principal Jon Tomberlain; Intermediate School Principal Pam Bradford and Assistant Principal Ocie Hanes; and Elementary School Principal Chad Blain and Assistant Principal Natalie Reeves."


Becky Kesler

Texarkana ADS Superintendent

Dr. Becky Kesler:

"Each Texarkana Arkansas School District principal displays a strong commitment to high standards and success. They wear many hats throughout the day and balance countless tasks to support quality teaching and learning. They are the epitome of instructional leaders and have a clear educational vision for their school."

Dr. Kesler said TASD, like all school districts across the nation, faced unique challenges preparing to re-open schools.

"Our principals displayed teamwork, creativity and perseverance to ensure a safe return for both students and staff," she said. "During this ever-changing time, our principals' ability to think outside the box has been an invaluable tool in our continued success.

"In recognition of National Principals Month, I encourage the community, parents, students and staff to thank a principal for their hard work and dedication."

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