Friday, May 20, 2011

Pollard Second to Hold Distinguished Honor in Fayette

A meeting location mix up with the school system’s superintendent brings one elementary school principal to tears.

Tyrone Elementary Principal Eddie Pollard arrived on time at the Board of Education yesterday for a scheduled meeting with School Superintendent Dr. Jeff Bearden only to discover that the superintendent was actually waiting for him at his school. Pollard immediately headed back to Tyrone preparing to apologize for the mix up, but little did he know he was about to get one of the biggest highlights of his career.

As Pollard rounded the corner of the cafeteria where Dr. Bearden was waiting, he was surprised by the cheers and claps of the school’s students, staff, parents, and fellow principals, all who had come for the official announcement that he is Georgia’s 2011 National Distinguished Principal.

Hal Beaver, executive director of the Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals (GAESP), delivered the news along with Pollard’s parents and son who were also in on the surprise. Following words of praise from the superintendent, Pollard was asked to make an impromptu speech.

“One thing I have learned in all of my years as a principal is that you always have to be ready to deliver a speech,” he said jokingly as he tried to hold back tears of joy. “You are only as good as the people you work with. You all are wonderful; I’m honored to be your principal.”

Pollard was nominated and selected by his fellow principals through a statewide search process conducted by the GAESP. Every state, the District of Columbia, plus private and overseas schools select one principal each year for the national honor that is sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the U.S. Department of Education.

Selection criteria requires that the honorees are active principals of schools where programs are designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students, and where there are firmly established community ties with parents and local business organizations.

Pollard is the second elementary school principal from Fayette to ever receive the national honor. Jeanie Miller, retired principal of Cleveland Elementary, was the county’s first recipient in 2008.

Pollard has served as principal of Tyrone Elementary since July 1, 1999. He began working in Fayette in 1987 as the principal of North Fayette Elementary. He has also been principal of Braelinn Elementary and Flat Rock Middle. During his years as an administrator, six out of nine of his assistant principals have become principals, and he has lead two schools to be recognized as “Georgia Schools of Excellence.”

He currently sits on the GAESP Board of Directors as the Federal Relations representative. Pollard has also served as the organization’s District Four Director, District President, District President-Elect, and District Legislative Chairperson.


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