The Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals recently named Berry College alum Brian Ridley 2013 Georgia Middle School Principal of the Year.
After spending several years on the Department of Education's "Needs Improvement" list, Haralson County Middle School recently received recognition as one of only eight "2012 Breakout Schools" in the state awarded for dramatically improving student achievement. After a short four years, Ridley successfully transitioned Haralson to one determined to break out of the status quo, but is quick to reflect praise and credit the dedication of teachers, administrators and students.
"Dr. Ridley is a great example of what it means to be an excellent school leader," State School Superintendent John Barge said. "The dramatic improvement in student achievement his school has seen is just one of his many accomplishments as a principal, but it gets to the heart of why we're all in education - to help children accomplish their dreams through a quality education."
Haralson County Middle School Principal Ridley graduated from Berry in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in music. He then earned a master's degree of music in tuba performance and an educational specialist degree in Leadership and Educational Doctorate in School Improvement from the University of West Georgia. Before entering the administrative field, Ridley spent eight years teaching instrumental music as a high school band director. He has published multiple articles in regional media on the subject of jazz pedagogy and his works for wind band and orchestra are distributed internationally and performed by many high school, college, and professional ensembles.
Ridley will represent the state in the competition for National Principal of the Year. The Principal of the Year program recognizes principals that excel in educational leadership, resolving complex problems, developing self and others, and community service.