Principal Spotlight: Crystal Morse, Rachael Brown, Suanne McCullough, and Steve Kreger

Principal SpotlightThe Discovery Educator Network recently asked its members to help shine the light on the amazing work principals were accomplishing at school sites around the globe. The nominations flooded in and we are excited to share the results with you.

Please take a moment to read through the great things happening in education today and congratulate these stellar lead learners.

Is there a principal you would like to nominate for recognition? Complete this form and we’ll feature him/her in our DEN Principal Spotlight series.


Crystal Morse: Bauerwood Elementary, Jenison Public Schools
Nominated by: Erin Sigler
Award Title: Servant Leader

“Crystal is the definition of a servant leader. She puts the needs of others first and helps staff develop into the teachers they hope to be. According to Butler University, there are 10 principles of Servant Leadership, and Crystal has all ten. She is a great listener, always available to lend an ear. She is a healer of self and others, and models that “wholeness” is an important factor in life. She has empathy, and respects that we are all different and special in our own way. Crystal has self-awareness, an inner confidence in who she is, and this allows her to lead us! She leads us not by bossing us around, but by raising awareness on a topic, and asking for our input. Crystal has the ability to bring new ideas to the table, but not overwhelm us with too much change. She supports us in our quest for being the best educators we can be. She has foresight, and is reflective when discussing all of the changes that occur in education. Crystal remains calm, and this settles us down into a good pace. She lives in Jenison, and many decisions that Crystal makes are for the “common good” of our community. In conclusion, Crystal has built a school that has one of the best reputations in the area for “loving on kids.” She models this by being a servant leader, in all aspects of the definition.” -Erin Sigler


Rachael Brown: Pinewood Elementary, Jenison Public Schools
Nominated by: Lori Barr
Award Title: Inspiring Us to Innovate Wildly

“Rachael has been instrumental in guiding our staff to create bravely, to encourage growth mindset in our students and to try new things with technology. Rachael is eager to be an active member of each of our Personal Learning Networks (PLN) who frequently tweets powerful finds and favorites those we post. She was instrumental in our district involvement with Discovery Science Techbook and attends all of our DEN events!” -Lori Barr


Suanne McCullough: Galileo STEM Academy, Joint School District No. 2
Nominated by: Kellie Taylor
Award Title: Administration is Key

“My principal, Suanne McCullough, has helped make me an exceptional teacher. She is always a great sounding board for my new ideas, and if she feels it will benefit student learning, she makes it happen. It is so fun to come across a new project I would like to integrate into the classroom and be able to get excited about the prospect because I know my principal is supportive. Recently on a Saturday, I couldn’t wait for Monday to come so I could share with her a fantastic new opportunity we could bring to our school community. Suanne works to generate a team among the staff and celebrate differences as well as highlight similarities. She has been supportive of me in my endeavors to continue my own education through a Master’s and now an Ed.D. Suanne continues her own lifelong learning right along side the staff. I enjoyed hearing her perspectives during the summer workshop several of the staff took together. I doubt I could have made it to where I am in my education career and possibly wouldn’t have wanted to if not for her support and encouragement.” -Kellie Taylor


Steve Kreger: Dickey Elementary, Keystone Central School District
Nominated by: Nancy Worden
Award Title: Our Elementary Transformer!

“Our principal Steve Kreger is new to our elementary school. He was transferred from a school he loved to our school with lots of issues. He not only embraced our staff, students and parents, he fought to transform our school. In a matter of 3 months he was able to clean up our building, communicate high expectations with staff and families, and transform our gray walls, orange doors, and dirty floors into a showpiece we are all proud of. He meets the students every morning for breakfast in our school cafeteria, listens when no one else will, talks when he needs to and disciplines with love so the students know he cares. In the 2 months since school has started there is less office referrals than ever before. Steve participates in all school events and has spent a Sunday in a local Color Run with staff to support his teachers. Teaching is not all reading, writing, and arithmetic. It’s connecting with students and staff so that when the reading, writing and arithmetic gets hard, long and frustrating the students and staff at Dickey Elementary know Mr. Kreger is behind them building them up and not tearing them down.” -Nancy Worden


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