Hall is top U.S. superintendent

The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) named Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall the 2009 National Superintendent of the Year on Feb. 20.

The announcement came at the association’s National Conference on Education in San Francisco.

“Beverly Hall is an outstanding superintendent whose leadership has turned Atlanta into a model of urban school reform,” AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech said. “Throughout her long and successful tenure in Atlanta, Hall has accomplished significant gains in student achievement. She has demonstrated a commitment to setting high standards for students and school personnel, working collaboratively with the school board, and meeting the needs of the local community.”

Hall, who was named Georgia Superintendent of the Year in December, is the first Georgia educator to win the national award. She took over the Atlanta system in July 1999.

LaChandra Butler Burks, who chairs the Atlanta Board of Education, said the board is proud of Hall. “This award serves as a reminder of Dr. Hall’s commitment to ensuring that Atlanta Public Schools will always serve as a model for urban school districts across the country and that our students graduate ready to compete in college and the global work force.”

Hall beat out three other finalists for the national award: Suzanne Freeman of Trussville, Ala.; Eugene White of Indianapolis; and Stu Silberman of Fayette County, Ky.

The selection was based on four primary criteria: creativity in meeting the needs of students; strength in personal and organizational communication; constant improvement of administrative knowledge and skills while providing professional development opportunities and motivation to others on the education team; and active participation in community activities combined with an understanding of regional, national and international issues.

Hall’s award also will result in a $10,000 scholarship going to a high school student.

Under Hall, standardized test scores have risen, and facilities have been renovated.

“Dr. Hall believes in the system and the students,” said Charon Kirkland, Atlanta’s Teacher of the Year. “This honor provides other school systems examples of what they can implement” to help students achieve at the highest levels.

Art Institute honors North Atlanta teacher

North Atlanta High School art teacher Natalie Brandhorst was part of a recent Art Institute of Atlanta exhibit called “The Appreciation Show,” displaying the works of area high school art teachers.

Brandhorst received second place in the show for the work “Agape.”