Ridge E.S. Principal Named Distinguished Educational Leader

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (April 7, 2010) - Ms. Sandra Kerner, principal of Ridge Elementary School, has been selected as St. Mary's County Public Schools' recipient of The Washington Post's Distinguished Educational Leadership Award.

The Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award exists to recognize those principals who go beyond the daily challenges of their position to create an exceptional educational environment.

"Ms. Kerner is an exemplary elementary school principal," said Dr. Michael J. Martirano, superintendent of schools. "She is caring and nurturing, and she fully understands the overall instructional program. She works tirelessly to ensure that Ridge Elementary and the Ridge community function as one unit."

Ms. Kerner joined St. Mary's County Public Schools in 1986 as a classroom teacher at Lettie Marshall Dent Elementary School. From 1996 to 1997, she served as an instructional resource teacher at Leonardtown Middle School, followed by a year of service as a leadership intern at Lettie Marshall Dent and Park Hall Elementary Schools. Ms. Kerner was named assistant principal at Benjamin Banneker Elementary in 1998, and assistant principal at Hollywood Elementary in 2004. In 2005, she was promoted to the position of principal at Ridge Elementary School.

"Mrs. Kerner works very well with her staff, community, supervisors, and faculty," wrote Mr. Joseph Shade, Ridge Elementary building service manager, in his letter of support for Ms. Kerner. "She has a very pleasant attitude, no matter what the situation, and is willing to assist with a smile. She is very supportive, dependable, honest, creative, and committed to her profession. Mrs. Kerner has very strong leadership skills with a very pleasant approach. She values everyone no matter what their career or status."

During the last week of April, The Washington Post will present the award to Ms. Kerner and the other principals representing public school systems in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, as well as a private school principal in the Washington metropolitan area.

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