Spanish Lake principal semifinalist for La. Principal of the Year

School News Report
Spanish Lake Primary Principal Britton Colon is a semifinalist for the 2017 Louisiana Principal of the Year.

     Spanish Lake Primary Principal Britton Colon is a semifinalist for the 2017 Louisiana Principal of the Year. This is the third year in a row that Ascension Public Schools has a principal in the running for the state's top honor. Former Gonzales Primary Principal Jaimee Williams was a 2016 finalist and former Pecan Grove Primary Principal Marjorie Meyers was the 2015 state winner.

     "We have a strong tradition of excellence throughout our district and are thrilled that the hard work and dedication of our leaders are consistently recognized at the state level," said Ascension Public Schools Superintendent A. Denise Graves. "Principal Colon is certainly deserving of this honor as he has led both student enrollment and performance growth throughout his tenure at Spanish Lake Primary."

     "I am humbled and honored to be considered for state principal of the year. At Spanish Lake Primary we do the best work we can every single day and to see that stand out among the state makes me proud for our school, students and teachers. It validates the hard work of our faculty, staff, and students," Colon said.

     Since it opened under Colon's leadership in 2009, Spanish Lake Primary has consistently achieved high student performance scores. It is currently rated as an "A" school and achieved the Louisiana Department of Education's "Top Gains School" distinction in 2012, 2013 and 2015.

     The ability to grow student achievement while integrating new curricula and accountability measures is what Colon is most proud of.

     "The standardized test has changed several times in the last seven years, and what it asks of the students is very challenging. Yet, our students have stepped up and grown the academic index of our school every year. That speaks volumes for the efforts of our teachers and students," Colon added.

     Colon credits Pat Sanchez, the current Director of Ascension Parish Head Start, for giving him the opportunity to transition from teacher support to administrative leadership. Sanchez was the assistant principal at Gonzales Primary when he taught fourth grade, and he was assigned to be her intern when she transitioned to principal at Dutchtown Primary.

     "I learned so much from Mrs. Sanchez, and we still stay in touch. We are like-minded in regards to educational philosophy and have similar leadership styles," he said.

     Another influencer on Colon's leadership style was Erin Babin, Spanish Lake Primary's Instructional Leadership Partner (ILP).

     The Louisiana Department of Education will announce teacher and principal of the year finalists in May and the winners on July 15 at the Tenth Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration. Visit louisianabelieves.com/teaching/award-programs for more information about the recognition program.