10/09/11 — Grantham principal Lisa Tart is N.C. pick for national honor

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Grantham principal Lisa Tart is N.C. pick for national honor

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 9, 2011 1:50 AM

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Grantham Principal Lisa Tart has been named North Carolina's choice for 2011 National Distinguished Principal.

Lisa Tart, principal at Grantham School, has been named North Carolina's choice for 2011 National Distinguished Principal.

Mrs. Tart was nominated and selected by her fellow principals through a statewide search process conducted by the N.C. Principal and Assistant Principals Assoc-iation. The award is presented by the National Associa-tion of Elemen-tary Schools Princi-pals, or NAESP, which honors outstanding elementary and middle administrators for setting high standards for instruction, student achievement, character and climate for the students, families and staff in the school community.

Each state's candidate must be actively serving as principal, providing programs designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students. The school must also have firmly established ties with the community, including parents and local business organizations, officials said.

Each year, 62 principals are recognized from across the country, including private schools and U.S. Department of Defense overseas schools.

Cited as one of the reasons Mrs. Tart was chosen for the award was the fact that Grantham has a School Improvement Team made up of teachers and staff members as well as parent and teacher representatives, which contributes to the success of the school.

NAESP officials also noted that Mrs. Tart takes a hands-on interest in the running of her school. She has actively monitored teaching and learning, they said, recording up to 900 formal walkthroughs of classrooms annually.

Last year, the principal launched an initiative identifying model classrooms at the school based on student achievement improvements, and had teachers rotate as observers in those classrooms.

Prior to being named the state's recipient of the national award, Mrs. Tart had already distinguished herself as an outstanding administrator. Last year, she was named one of eight North Carolina Regional Principals of the Year and had been Principal of the Year for Wayne County Public Schools.

A graduate of East Carolina University, she holds bachelor and master's degrees in middle grades education and a master's degree in school administration.

An educator since 1994, she came to the district in 1996 as an English and history teacher at Rosewood Middle School. She became assistant principal at the school in 2000, then principal two years later. She was transferred to her current assignment in 2006.

She will be officially recognized along with other recipients in the 2011 National Distinguished Principals program during ceremonies planned in Washington D.C. Oct. 20-21.