District 1 principals named

Three local administrators have been named 2018 Indiana Association of School Principals District 1 Principals/Assistant Principal of the Year.

The High School Principal of the Year is Shaunna Finley, Central High School, East Chicago; Middle School Principal of the Year is Becky Pavich, Lowell Middle School; and Assistant Principal of the Year is Delincia Smith, Griffith High School. The Elementary School Principal of the year is Sherri Cripe at Morocco Elementary School in the North Newton School Corp.

District 1 includes Jasper, Lake, Newton and Porter counties. The winners in all 12 districts in Indiana will compete and one principal, assistant principal, middle school principal and elementary principal will be named as the winner for 2018 in November at the Indiana Association of School Principals conference.

There is a Principals of the Year Celebration Dinner on April 25 at Lighthouse Restaurant in Cedar Lake.

All of the administrators attribute their success to their administrative team and respective superintendents.

Finley said she is honored District 1 acknowledged her, but she said, more importantly, it reflects on the hard work of the staff and students at East Chicago Central High School.

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"This sums it up for me: servant leadership," she said. "God has blessed me with a gift of helping others. This is my mission. There is no other way to say it. I have been fortunate to work with a team of people who are committed to working hard and believe in our students. The leaders at the School City of East Chicago have allowed me to be the best principal I can be for students and staff. They support the new initiatives and ideas I have. When things are not going well, they know I am open to change. We truly believe that together, we are better."

Smith, who has been in education 15 years, said the award was unexpected, but it is an honor and privilege to be awarded the 2018 District 1 Assistant Principal of the Year Award.

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"This honor is not about me," she said. "It’s about the team that makes Griffith High a great place and the awesome administrators, teachers, support staff and students in our school. The strides we’ve made at Griffith High School is a testament to our leadership team, administrators, support staff and community members who work diligently to help our students succeed."

Pavich, who has been at Lowell Middle School for eight years, said she has been the principal since the 2011-12 school year, moving up after a year as an assistant principal.

"Overall, this award is really a testament to the amazing students, teachers and staff at LMS and all of their hard work, time, innovation and dedication to learning," she said.

"I have not only been supported by them, but also by my building and district administrative teams, my family and Dr. (Debra) Howe. I am humbled to be honored by this group of professionals."

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Southlake County Reporter

Carmen is an award-winning journalist who has worked at The Times newspaper for 20 years. Before that she also had stints at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., The Post-Tribune and The News Dispatch in Michigan City.