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Jessica Ainsworth National AP of the Year Finalist back button

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Lithia Springs High School Assistant Principal Jessica Ainsworth has been named a finalist in the 2015 National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). She is representing her school as well as Georgia in the program. The 2015 Assistant Principal of the Year selection process started in late 2014/early 2015, when each NASSP-affiliated state principals association submitted their state assistant principal of the year. Ms. Ainsworth earned the title of Georgia Assistant Principal of the Year in November, 2014.

A panel of school leaders and educational thought leaders reduced the field to 10, from which another panel selected the three finalists. In a released statement from NASSP, Ms. Ainsworth and the other two finalists are being recognized for their success in raising student achievement and leading in a culture in which students thrive.

Their statement included the following information on Ms. Ainsworth, “Facing some of the lowest student achievement scores and graduation rates in the state of Georgia, Jessica Ainsworth was charged with implementing a federal School Improvement Grant to turn around a struggling culture and climate at Lithia Springs High School. She did this by instituting The MANE Thing, a six-pronged initiative that reflects a clear purpose and vision for academic success. Ainsworth involved all stakeholders in the emphasis on classroom instruction, intervention programs, assessment and performance data analysis, attendance, behavior and supervision, and parent engagement. Her efforts have led to consistent increases in reading scores across all subgroups, most notably a tripling of the reading proficiency rate among students with disabilities from 27 percent to 83 percent. Success is also evident in increases in the graduation rate, job placements, and college acceptances. Despite a focus on achievement data, Ainsworth values the students behind the numbers and maintains strong relationships with stakeholders. Students describe Ainsworth as approachable and teachers value the professional development opportunities she regularly creates for them.

The finalists, along with all state winners, will be honored at the 2015 NASSP Assistant Principal of the Year Symposium, during which they will also visit Capitol Hill to meet with their elected officials. A panel will also interview the finalists during the Symposium to select the National Assistant Principal of the Year, who will be announced during a surprise assembly at the assistant principal’s school before the end of the school year.

“Ms. Ainsworth is a consummate professional,” said Lithia Springs High School Principal Dr. Askew. He nominated her for the award and stated, “Regardless of the scenario: meetings, reports, working with staff, students, or parents, Jessica is always prepared and is thorough in addressing matters. Data drives her perspectives on teaching and learning and she has great knowledge and commensurate experience that allows her to use her perspectives to support instruction at Lithia Springs High School (LSHS). In addition to her intellect and her leadership skill, Ms. Ainsworth is one of the hardest working professionals that I have encountered. It doesn't matter if it is curriculum related or a snowstorm and I need someone to stay overnight to monitor the girls stranded here at the school, she is always willing to assist to help ensure that LSHS runs smoothly.”

Ms. Ainsworth has been at LSHS for three years as an Assistant Principal after working 4 years as an Educational Evaluator in the Douglas County School System Central Office.

Congratulations Ms. Ainsworth.


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