Lincoln Elementary's Schmidt named ND Region 6 Principal of the Year
Schmidt received the award Feb. 16.
JAMESTOWN – The Region 6 Principal of the Year said she would take the plaque and divide it into smaller pieces for the students and staff members of Lincoln Elementary School.
Sherry Schmidt, principal at Lincoln Elementary in Jamestown, received the award on Feb. 16 at the North Dakota Association of Elementary School Principals' mid-winter conference. The award was given by the North Dakota Association of Elementary School Principals through the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders. Region 6 includes Barnes, Dickey, Foster, Griggs, LaMoure, Logan, McIntosh, Stutsman and Wells counties.
Schmidt said the staff at Lincoln Elementary lives by the slogan “whatever it takes.”
“The staff, all of us, believe that whatever it takes is what we are going to do to create an atmosphere that is safe and loving for kids to grow each and every day,” she said. “You will see long hours put in. You will see weekends. It’s whatever it takes to make that place amazing, and it takes the whole team.”
Schmidt said she’s been employed by the Jamestown Public School District for 23 years. She taught for five years at Jamestown Middle School before she became the principal of Gussner and Louis L’Amour elementary schools for two years. She then became the principal of Louis L’Amour and Lincoln elementary schools for three years.
“Then I mentored another principal,” Schmidt said. “She didn’t have her degree yet, so I mentored for two more years having Louis L'Amour and Lincoln. So for my first seven years, I had two schools and then now I have been at strictly Lincoln for the last 11 years.”
Each year the National Association of Elementary School Principals recognizes principals of prekindergarten through grade eight from the U.S. as well as principals in private schools, the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Education Activity and the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools, according to the NAESP’s website. Public school elementary and middle-level principals are nominated in their state, and final sections are made by committees appointed by each of the NAESP's state offices. Once a regional principal is selected, the next step is applying for the National Distinguished Principal award.
Superintendent Rob Lech said the award is a well-deserved honor for Schmidt, Lincoln Elementary School and the Jamestown Public School District.
“I think anybody who spends time with Sherry Schmidt knows that she is really a relationship builder, a relationship builder with kids, a relationship builder with the community, a relationship builder with teachers and with parents,” he said. “It’s just really what she believes at her core.”
Schmidt was nominated by Heidi Budeau, director of the James River Special Education Cooperative. In her nomination, Budeau wrote that Lincoln Elementary has an atmosphere designed to meet all students’ academic and emotional needs, including positive messages throughout the school building, having behavior bins in each classroom so students can use them if they are feeling stressed or frustrated, holding pep fests throughout the school year, and having friendly competition at each grade level that allows students to take pride and honor in being part of a close-knit classroom family.
She wrote that Schmidt is willing to assist in any capacity, whether that be a classroom teacher, paraprofessional, cook or janitor.
“She is there leading by example and putting in the long hours to ensure her building is ready for educators to teach and students to learn,” she said. “When the school was short janitors, Mrs. Schmidt and her family worked long hours each night to ensure the building was ready to learn each morning. Her staff even volunteered to assist with no expectation of pay, just Lincoln Lion Pride.”