Leveillee named Charles County Principal of the Year - Southern Maryland Headline News

Leveillee named Charles County Principal of the Year

LA PLATA, Md. - Carol Leveillee has a treasure box, bubble gum phone and special stickers and freely hands out cool jobs to students. If that isn’t enough to convince you why the Mary H. Matula principal was chosen as Charles County’s Principal of the Year, her students say she keeps them safe, she is caring and she’s a great sport even when she loses at basketball.

If Carol Leveillee is not in a classroom reading a book, in the cafeteria opening a fruit can or talking to a parent, she is looking for a new way to facilitate learning for each student. Her enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication to children are the traits that earned her the Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leader award.

“She follows her own rules. For example, one of her rules is respect. She always respects staff and students. If students were to give her a nickname, it would be Extraordinary Leveillee,” said student Amina Lee.

Leveillee is a principal, her teachers say, who leads by example and is passionate about children, education and academic success. Her success, teachers say, reflects her educational philosophy that every decision is made with children and staff in mind.

“Receiving the Principal of the Year award means the world to me. This award stands for people and people are why I do what I do each day. This is a Matula Elementary School award because of the awesome kids and staff that work here each day. The Matula community is such a great place to work. I love what I do and I am honored and very proud of this wonderful recognition. Charles County Public Schools is like a second home to me. It’s great to work in a school system where the needs of kids and staff come first,” Leveillee said.

Leveillee’s accomplishments at Matula over the last eight years include a sharp rise in test scores and numerous awards including the National Promising Practice Award for two consecutive years, the Maryland Character Education award and the Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies (PBIS) Maryland Exemplar School designation for 2006.

In a nomination letter, Media Specialist Susan Farneth wrote that Leveillee is a visionary who looks at the big picture while focusing on necessary details. “She is able to see where we are going but not lose sight of the day-to-day necessities of how to get there. Problems do not stand in her way. She is a can-do woman who accepts challenges and problems as puzzles that must be solved.”

“Mrs. Leveillee’s passion for children is evident every day at Matula. From the first ‘Good morning, have a great day’ to the last ‘goodbye, see you tomorrow’; the children know they are valued,” wrote Special Educator Mary Beth Long.

“As deftly as a CEO of one of the Fortune 500 Companies, Carol Leveillee leads her team of outstanding teachers and supporting staff to provide a learning environment that never loses site of their customers – their students. In a very short time, Mrs. Leveillee leaves those that are hard to impress, in fact, quite impressed,” wrote parent Bill Waugh.

Leveillee started her career in Charles County in 1989 as a teacher at Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School. She became an instructional specialist in 1994 and in 1995 was named as a vice principal at Eva Turner Elementary School. She served as a vice principal at Dr. James Craik and Matula elementary schools before being named as Matula’s principal in 1999.

Leveillee has also served as a camp director for Community Services and as a consultant on task writing and test administration for the Maryland State Department of Education. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and special education from Frostburg State College and her master of education degree in administration and supervision from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Leveillee has earned consistent honors for her work. She is the recipient of the Hoopengardner Award, Elementary Education Award and Maryland Congress of Parents and Teachers Award. She has served as a liaison for the University of Maryland and the Charles County Board of Education, an official reviewer for Science for Americans, a science fair coordinator and a testing coordinator team leader. She is a community volunteer and has served on a number of school system committees including the safety committee, redistricting committee, as chairperson of the Leadership Committee and as the principal representative for the elementary instructional team.

“Carol Leveillee is an outstanding principal who continues to lead Matula Elementary School on a path to excellence. Under Mrs. Leveillee’s leadership, Matula has become a model for character education as well as academic success. She has a commitment to excellence, which is evident not only in the outstanding performance of her students but the professional success of her staff. Her efforts have resulted in Matula being honored numerous times for its innovation in technology use and character education. The comments by staff, parents and students in her nomination packet are a moving tribute to her leadership and personal character,” said Superintendent James E. Richmond.

On Nov. 20, the Washington Post Education Foundation honored Leveillee during a ceremony and reception for the recipients of the Distinguished Educational Leadership Awards.

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