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A salute to Principal Shelley Hummon at Pueblo Elementary School

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On April 20, Pueblo’s nearly 500 students, its staff, and community and district leaders greeted Shelley Hummon on the school’s field for the surprise ceremony organized to celebrate her award. (Photo Courtesy:SUSD/DigitalFreePress.com)
SUSD leaders celebrate Shelley Hummon’s national school leadership award
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

She thought it was a bit odd that last week’s monthly meeting of Scottsdale Unified School District elementary school principals was being moved from the district office to her school.

But Pueblo Elementary School Principal Shelley Hummon welcomed the opportunity to show her peers the progress on the “new” Pueblo campus, which is under construction and due to open this fall. She wasn’t prepared for the real reason the meeting was moved: to accommodate a surprise celebration of Ms. Hummon’s selection as a 2023 National Association of Elementary School Principals National Distinguished Principal.

“We left the meeting to go on our ‘tour,’ and when we came around the corner, I heard the kids and the music, and was very confused,” Ms. Hummon said. “I kept asking Margaret [Margaret Serna, SUSD’s interim executive director for elementary education], ‘What did you do?’ I did not know until I saw a student holding a sign that said, ‘National Distinguished Principal.’”

On April 20, Pueblo’s nearly 500 students, its staff, and community and district leaders greeted Ms. Hummon on the school’s field for the surprise ceremony organized to celebrate her award.

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SUSD leaders celebrate Shelley Hummon’s national school leadership award

Since 1984, the NAEP recognizes outstanding principals of U.S. public and private pre-kindergarten through 8th grade schools and overseas schools operated by the Department of Defense. Principals are nominated by peers for their setting of high standards for instruction, student achievement and character, and school climate.

Ms. Hummon’s selection was made by the executive board of the Arizona School Administrators’ Elementary Division.

SUSD Superintendent Dr. Scott Menzel says the award validates Ms. Hummon’s leadership at Pueblo, SUSD’s Spanish dual-language immersion elementary school, where she has been principal since October 2017.

“One doesn’t have to spend very long on campus to see and feel the ways in which her leadership encourages student engagement, staff collaboration, and partnership with parents,” Dr. Menzel said of the national distinction. “In addition to being an incredible leader of her school. Principal Hummon is also engaged in the larger Scottsdale community. She is truly deserving of this special recognition.”

Ms. Hummon’s supervisor, a current SUSD principal and two former SUSD principals nominated the Pueblo leader for the award.

Anasazi Elementary’s Jennifer Waldron; SUSD Early Learning and Community Education Director Dr. Christine Bonow, who won the NDP in 2017 when she was Redfield Elementary’s principal; and former Desert Canyon Elementary Principal Kristin Kinghorn, Arizona’s 2022 NDP and now principal of John M. Anderson Elementary School in Chandler made the nominations.

“I am truly humbled and do not feel that I deserve this award any more than my colleagues and friends in SUSD and Arizona,” Ms. Hummon said. “I am certainly not what makes Pueblo special or stand out. It is the students, teachers and staff, and the parent and family community at Pueblo that make my job the best on Earth.”

Ms. Hummon and 2023’s other National Distinguished Principals will travel to Washington, D.C., in October, National Principals Month, to be formally recognized at a two-day NAESP gathering.

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