Curriculum Associates has named Jamilah Hud-Kirk, principal of Fountain Elementary in Clayton County Public Schools in Forest Park, GA, as the recipient of its 2022 Inspire Award. This recognition, which is part of the annual Extraordinary Educators program that celebrates exemplar teachers around the country, is given to one administrator nationwide for their ability to create strong bonds with school-based teams to take the use of i-Ready to new levels to support students. Today, the award-winning i-Ready program is used in the majority of Georgia’s school districts.
“All teachers and students deserve a dedicated and supportive principal,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “Jamilah fully embodies these characteristics and more. She is truly an inspiration to all those she serves, and we are proud to recognize her ongoing leadership and hard work with this year’s award.”
Hud-Kirk has more than 25 years of experience in urban and rural education as a teacher, school improvement specialist, assistant principal, and principal at the elementary, middle, and district levels in Alabama, Texas, and Georgia. This includes 13 years as principal at Fountain Elementary, where she currently serves more than 600 students in Grades pre-K–5.
In addition to her role as a principal, Hud-Kirk is a speaker, founder of PCK Consulting, LLC., and author of Leading with Balance, which she cowrote with her colleagues to empower other female leaders to create balance in their own lives while working. Realizing there is much to learn from her own experiences and those of other dynamic female leaders, she also recently created the Principal Captain Kirk leadership blog and other social media platforms to share best-practice insights and advice.
“It is with great pleasure and honor that I accept the Curriculum Associates Inspire Award,” said Hud-Kirk. “The i-Ready program has been an instrumental part of developing, monitoring, and celebrating our teachers’ and scholars’ growth in reading and mathematics. During a time in which educators are trying their best to do what is exceptional for our children, we have an organization and program that supports not only our students in instruction, but also our teachers in professional learning.”
“Through our professional learning community data chats, intentional planning of interventions utilizing the Teacher Toolbox, and our ‘Keeping It 100’ staff recognition program where teachers are recognized for having 100 percent of their scholars at passing rate, we continue to show we are able to beat the odds,” she added. “This recognition represents the hard work that my staff and scholars put in daily. There is an African philosophy of ‘ubuntu,’ meaning, ‘I am because we are, and because we are, therefore I am.’ Today I stand on the shoulders of my district, school, staff, family, and community—my success is not my success alone. We continue to strive to inspire, impact, and influence the greatness that we know our scholars already possess.”
Along with this year’s class of Extraordinary Educators, Hud-Kirk will have access to a network of peers from around the country to collaborate, connect, and learn from throughout the year, as well as access to professional development opportunities from Curriculum Associates. She will also be invited to participate and present at the Extraordinary Educators Leadership Summit, as well as at other professional learning events.