After receiving the 2009 Thomas C. Passios Outstanding Principal Award from the Massachusetts Elementary School Principals’ Association (MESPA) this spring, Sandra Mitchell-Woods, principal of the Nathan Hale Elementary School in Roxbury, will travel to Washington, D.C., in October to participate in the National Distinguished Principal Program.
Established in 1979 in memory of an outstanding school leader, the Passios Award is given annually to recognize the leadership, dedication and professionalism of exceptional elementary- and middle-level principals.
The National Distinguished Principal Program honors elementary- and middle-level principals from each state, the District of Columbia, and private, parochial and overseas schools. In October, Mitchell-Woods will travel to Washington, D.C., for a two-day celebration featuring activities, networking opportunities and a formal awards banquet.
“I am thrilled that Sandy Mitchell-Woods has had the formal acknowledgement of what we have all known for years: that she is a gifted, talented educator who is truly making a difference at the Nathan Hale School and in the community,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino in a statement at the time of the Passios Award announcement in May.
Mitchell-Woods has served as principal at the Hale for 10 years and has worked in the Boston Public Schools (BPS) system for 21 years. She began her career in education as an elementary school teacher in Cedar Falls, Iowa, in 1977 before coming to Boston in 1989.
“Sandy has done an incredible job of bringing volunteers and community partners to the Hale to support student learning,” said BPS Superintendent Dr. Carol R. Johnson. “In talking about this award, Sandy has stressed that it belongs not just to her, but to the entire school community, and we congratulate everyone at the Hale on their success.”
Prior to becoming principal of the Hale in 1999, Mitchell-Woods taught at the Marshall Elementary School in Dorchester and later served as an assistant principal at both the Lee and Mather elementary schools, also in Dorchester.
Mitchell-Woods is the fourth BPS principal to receive the Passios Outstanding Principal Award, and the first since 2004.