Norm Gear: Michigan Middle School Principal of the Year
LANSING – Gardner Middle School and RSVP board member Norm Gear was named Michigan Middle School Principal of the Year in a ceremony at a Lansing school board meeting earlier this month. This high honor befits Mr. Gear who demonstrates everyday his commitment to Gardner students and parents, his staff, the community and the Gardner family. The award was sponsored by the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals and MetLife.
Nominators Tia Bell and Debra Nolan cited Gear’s commitment to producing and maintaining a positive learning and teaching environment. “His efforts have helped create a positive school climate and build relationships with all staff members, students and parents over the past eight years as principal. His teachers know they will always be supported, and students and parents know he will always follow through and be fair.”
Under Gear’s leadership, Gardner Middle School was awarded a $250,000 grant for professional development. These opportunities helped change the school’s climate, invigorate staff and led Gardner in making Adequate Yearly Progress five years running. Former Gardner teacher and administrator Ellen Beal said it best, Great principals are always teaching and learning and that is what makes Norm such an excellent administrator." Ellen, who is now principal of her own building near the West Michigan Lake Shore, remains a strong advocate and friend of the Lansing RSVP Volunteer Service Group.
Gear has also instituted and staffed an in-school suspension room, illustrating his support for producing and maintaining a positive learning and teaching environment.
No stranger to serving the Lansing community, Gear is a former Michigan State Police officer. He is also currently a member of the Ingham County Road Commission, the South Lansing Business Alliance, Kiwanis Club, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, South Precinct Advisory Board and the Ingham County Change Initiative Education Committee.
"Mr. Gear has been invaluable to the success of RSVP and our volunteer programs; he is really part of our team. He is always there for our RSVP events and activities anytime we need him making things easy instead of frustrating. In addition, Norm is one of the most visionary and caring principals that I have ever met. If a program will help a child, he is for it. He truly deserves this award. Finally, I want to thank Norm on behalf of all of the RSVP staff and volunteers and wish him the very best." said Janet Clark Executive Director, RSVP.
Gear will represent Michigan in the 2011 National Middle Level Principal of the Year program.
Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals
Image by Pete Bosheff "