PHOTO: Kimberly Winterbottom (second from left), Finalist for National Principal of the Year
Marley Middle School Principal Kimberly Winterbottom today was named one of three finalists for National Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).
Winterbottom began her Anne Arundel County Public Schools career in 2009 as an assistant principal at Southern Middle School and subsequently led the school as principal for two years. She is in her ninth year as principal at Marley Middle School.
“I am incredibly honored to be named a finalist, and I share this recognition with so many because no leader does this alone, at least not well,” Winterbottom said. “I will forever be thankful to Jason Dykstra, my former principal, and Janine Robinson, my current supervisor, for the support, trust, and friendship that have been a large reason for my success as a principal.
“Being a principal is not easy,” Winterbottom continued. “Every day, there are numerous challenges and obstacles that must be addressed. No day is the same, and I love that about my career. What I love even more, however, is working with a team to solve any and every issue that arises by utilizing excellent judgment, intentional focus, and, most important, by doing what is best for students and staff. I thrive on finding solutions with the staff, parents, and community that make the building better every day and every year. The best part of my career are the amazing educators and school staff that I am privileged to work with.”
Citing her leadership qualities, data-driven approaches to increasing student achievement, and ability to build partnerships, the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals named Winterbottom Maryland Principal of the Year in May.
Winterbottom has come back as an educator to the very school system that formed her foundation. She attended Bodkin Elementary School and Chesapeake Bay Middle School before graduating from Chesapeake High School.
The other finalists for the national award are: Shampriest Bevel, principal of Bayside Sixth Grade Campus in Virginia Beach, Va.; and Andrew Farley, principal of Brookfield East High School in Brookfield, Wisc. The winner will be announced later this month.
“Ms. Bevel, Mr. Farley, and Ms. Winterbottom are game-changing principals whose focus on equity and excellence has transformed their schools,” NASSP Chief Executive Officer Ronn Nozoe said. “By intertwining innovative mental wellness initiatives with academic rigor, they’ve reshaped what education means for their kids, ensuring that every student is not only academically challenged but emotionally nurtured. Their accomplishments have set the gold standard for what a 21st-century education can and should be, and we’re thrilled to spotlight their groundbreaking work.”
Under Winterbottom’s leadership, Marley students outperformed many of the 19 county middle schools in district math assessments and have seen significant gains in language arts scores. She has also been instrumental in helping to change the culture of the school, as seen by the drop in discipline referrals from among the highest in the county to among the lowest.
Winterbottom has also created a plethora of community, faith-based, and business partnerships to assist students in a variety of ways. She has also placed a great emphasis on the cultivation of equitable practices and programs.