MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Fort Gibson

February 15, 2010

ELC principal finalist for state award





Phyllis Kindle, principal at Fort Gibson’s Early Learning Center, has high expectations of students, parents, grandparents and faculty when it comes to academic achievement.

She’s also quick to give credit to each of those groups for the students meeting high academic goals.

Kindle’s expectations have paid off with her students testing at the top of the state’s performance standards and with Kindle being named a district administrator of the year by a state group.

Kindle and 10 other district winners of the award will be recognized at a luncheon to be held June 10 during the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration’s summer conference.

A committee will narrow the field of 11 nominees to three and those principals’ schools will receive site visits next month. The state winner will be chosen from those three finalists and will be recognized in October as a National Distinguished Principal.

Kindle said students are not tested until third grade and the third-grade teachers do their jobs well, with the students scoring the maximum on the state testing scale — the Academic Performance Index.

However, she also credits the Early Learning Center for that success, as they start the students on the track to success.

“We expect kindergarten students to be reading by the end of kindergarten,” she said. “We have high expectations and they rise to those expectations.”

She also has high expectations for the ELC’s 32 teachers and 20 support personnel.

Kindle begins each school year by inviting parents and grandparents to the school, when she and the staff share what they expect from them in the students’ education, she said. For example, they ask parents to read with their children every night, and a lot of them do.

She finds it very exciting to watch students develop as they move from 4-year-olds to 8-year-olds in her building.

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