Clayton’s Char Hopkins named Delaware’s Elementary Principal of the Year

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From left: Sherry Kijowski, principal of Caesar Rodney High School; Kevin Carson, executive director of the Delaware Association of School Administrators; JMC Principal Charlynne Hopkins; Laura Schneider, DOE special assistant for educator effectiveness; Sylvia Henderson, Milford director of student support.

FRANKFORD – Charlynne “Char” Hopkins of John M. Clayton Elementary School in Frankford has been named Delaware’s Elementary School Principal of the Year for 2015.

The announcement was made during a special assembly at the school on Friday, May 29.

Ms. Hopkins was presented the award by Indian River School District officials and representatives from the Delaware Association of School Administrators (DASA).

“I can think of no one more deserving of this honor than Char Hopkins,” IRSD Superintendent Susan Bunting said. “Char is an immensely-talented administrator who demands nothing but the best from her students and staff. Her effectiveness is evident in the exemplary performance of her students every year. No socioeconomic barrier is too great for a JMC student to overcome and experience success in the classroom. I congratulate her for making our district proud!”

This marks the third consecutive year that an Indian River School District principal has received this honor.

Laura Schneider of Phillip C. Showell Elementary won the award in 2013 and Neil Beahan of Southern Delaware School of the Arts was named Middle School Principal of the Year in 2014.

Ms. Hopkins is completing her fourth year as principal at John M. Clayton Elementary. Under her leadership, the school was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2014, a National Distinguished Title I School in 2012, a State Recognition School in 2012 and 2014, and a State School of Continued Excellence in 2013.

Ms. Hopkins is in her 20th year with the Indian River School District. She has also served as principal of Long Neck and Georgetown elementary schools. During her tenure at Long Neck, the school was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2005 and a National Distinguished Title I School in 2007. Ms. Hopkins has also served as an assistant principal at Long Neck Elementary, Georgetown Elementary and the Howard T. Ennis School. She began her career in IRSD as a guidance counselor at Phillip C. Showell Elementary in 1994.

As Delaware’s elementary winner, Ms. Hopkins will be eligible for the National Distinguished Principal Award presented by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

The National Distinguished Principals program honors outstanding elementary and middle-level administrators who ensure that America’s children acquire a sound foundation for lifelong learning and achievement. The program was established in 1984 to recognize and celebrate elementary and middle-level principals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, character and climate for the students, families and staff in their learning communities.

This is the second major honor for John M. Clayton.

Earlier this year Jan Bomhard, counselor at John Clayton Elementary, was honored as the 2015 Delaware Elementary School Counselor of the Year, as chosen by the Delaware School Counselors Association.

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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