Patterson awarded Dr. Jim Tangdall Beacon Award
Michelle Patterson, a veteran educator at Westside Community Schools and Principal of Sunset Hills Elementary, is the inaugural winner of the Dr. Jim Tangdall Award for Administrator of the Year. Michelle receives $2,500 from the Westside Foundation and the Tangdall family.
Michelle has been with Westside for 22 years, spending several of those as Principal at Paddock Road Elementary and at Sunset Hills Elementary. She is also the Director of the district’s Excellence In Youth program, a leader in Region II mentoring other administrators and educators, and a published author. She was nominated for this award by several current and former Westside teachers.
Michelle is respected and admired by her staff members as an administrator who is first and foremost a teacher. She is passionate about teaching not only students, but her staff. Michelle is known as a valuable resource for colleagues, always happy to offer suggestions, feedback and tools to help all employees succeed. She makes it a point to build relationships with people and is known for recognition, knowing by heart the specific coffee order of each of her teachers, and instinctively understanding when someone needs a quick break or an ear to listen.
Despite her busy schedule at Sunset Hills and throughout the District, students and staff members alike note Michelle is always approachable and welcoming. She’s also a proven leader, constantly pursuing success and unafraid to change what doesn’t work. That drive and talent has contributed to incredible achievement in our schools, including the prestigious National Blue Ribbon School designation for Paddock Road Elementary this year. Michelle empowers others to become leaders, strengthening morale, her students, and her school as a whole. From one nominator: ‘her abilities showed me what a leader should be.’
Michelle exemplifies many of the qualities shared by Dr. Jim Tangdall, longtime respected and beloved educator for Westside Community Schools for whom this award is named. He dedicated 25 years of his life to Westside, beginning as a math teacher and coach, then an assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and Superintendent of Westside Community Schools until his retirement in 1992. Dr. Tangdall is still remembered for building positive relationships, managing school operations, serving the community and all learners, being a lifelong learner himself, and proving himself an ethical and effective leader.
CONGRATULATIONS to Michelle Patterson, and our thanks to the Westside Foundation and the Tangdall family for supporting the Dr. Jim Tangall Beacon Award!