The Lindback Foundation Distinguished Principal Award is given annually to Philadelphia School District school leaders “who have made significant leadership and humanitarian contributions” to their school communities. The award comes with a $20,000 prize for each principal’s school, and the recipients will be honored at a ceremony Tuesday.
Here are the 2019 award winners. The biographies are taken from the nominating letters.
Brown, who became principal of Waring in 2016, has dedicated herself to building community partnerships. Through the Friends of Waring, Brown has launched or improved relationships with Community College of Philadelphia, Parkway Corp., and Zia, a nonprofit focused on bringing healthy food to city children. She attends community meetings in the school’s Spring Garden neighborhood, engages with homeless shelters where some of her students live, and generally does whatever she can to remove barriers to learning for Waring students. Brown, who previously taught at Dunbar, Ethan Allen, and Lawton Elementary Schools, has led progress in academics and attendance at Waring. She is a product of the Philadelphia School District, graduating from Bodine High School for International Affairs. She did undergraduate work at Franklin and Marshall College and graduate work at Cabrini University and Chestnut Hill College.
A Philadelphia native, Dupree-Campbell is a Central High School graduate who is committed to educating the city’s children. Dupree-Campbell studied at Howard University, St. Joseph’s University, and the University of Pennsylvania, and taught high school English for six years before working as a teacher leader and then intern principal at Sayre High School. She was part of a team that wrote the Philadelphia School District’s current English curriculum. Since 2014, Dupree-Campbell, who also won a Lindback award for teaching, has been principal of Middle Years Alternative (MYA). During her years at the school, Dupree-Campbell has focused on broadening students’ exposure to college and careers. Her students analyze their own data, and her teachers have opportunities to lead. MYA students now have access to an Algebra I Academy and PSAT testing. Dupree-Campbell, who earned a spot in the prestigious Neubauer Fellowship for promising educational leaders, has seen MYA’s score on the district’s School Progress Report jump from 32 to 71 in three years.
Eren came to Philadelphia from Harvard University through Teach for America. TFA requires only a two-year commitment, but Eren fell in love with teaching and stayed at Olney High School for eight years, sponsoring the school newspaper and National Honor Society. Eren worked as an instructional coach and English department chair at Olney, which changed from a Philadelphia School District school to a charter during her tenure. She became assistant principal of Kensington Health Sciences Academy, a neighborhood high school, in 2016, and principal of the school in 2017. She is working toward a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania.
Julien, who has been principal of her own neighborhood school for four years, has led Kirkbride to local and national recognition. She has served her entire career in Philadelphia classrooms, working as a high school Spanish teacher, instructional coach for Teach for America, and PhillyPLUS principal fellow before becoming Kirkbride’s principal. For three years in a row, Kirkbride was named a School District “peer leader” — tops among similar schools — recognized for its school climate, academics, attendance, and growth. Of the graduating Class of 2019, 71 percent of Kirkbride students plan to enroll in special admission high schools. Kirkbride, on Julien’s watch, was named a 2016 National Title One School. Julien is also a Neubauer Fellow, selected for promising educational leadership.
After graduating from Northeast High, Kimmel served for five years in the Navy before returning home to study at Bucks County Community College while working full-time as a behavioral counselor at a children’s residential treatment facility. There, he was inspired to become a teacher. After graduating from Temple University, Kimmel taught for two years in the Council Rock School District before returning to his roots in Philadelphia, first at Stetson Middle School. He taught nearly every grade from kindergarten to sixth grade, both regular and special-education students. After earning a master’s degree in educational leadership at night, Kimmel earned a principal residency with the PhillyPLUS leadership training program. Becoming principal of Hackett, in the Kensington neighborhood where he lives, is “a dream come true," Kimmel said.
A 20-year veteran of the Philadelphia School District and graduate of its schools, Thompson has been principal at the Academy at Palumbo, a magnet school, for the last five years. Under her leadership, Palumbo has been named a Peer Leader since 2015. Thompson has increased the number of seats at Palumbo by 300 students, and leads with a strong emphasis on climate and culture, believing that it is important for students to have a safe space where they know there are people who care for them.