[Announcing Our Winner] Edmentum’s Principal of the Year

Friday, July 29, 2016 -- McKenna Wierman

Earlier this spring, we asked our customers to nominate fellow educators who they see making a truly profound impact on the lives of their students. Winners were selected based on criteria such as their implementation of Edmentum learning solutions as well as their overall integration of technology in the classroom and their innovation and creativity in fostering student engagement.

We are thrilled to announce that Robert Kern of Nazareth Area Middle School (NAMS) in Nazareth, Pennsylania, has been recognized as Edmentum’s Principal of the Year! We chose to recognize Mr. Kern because of his outstanding commitment to his community, his creative integration of Study Island and Edmentum Accucess throughout his school, and his dedication to building positive relationships with each of his students.

When Mr. Kern first came to Nazareth Area Middle School, the Pennsylvania Department of Education had marked the school as in need of an improvement plan due to low performance. Mr. Kern wasted no time compiling an action plan to implement innovative learning techniques, get to know students and teachers more personally, and establish Edmentum solutions as the school’s primary online tool. Today, NAMS has received the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Excellence in Academics as well as a National Blue Ribbon Schools award, and has blossomed into a positive learning environment where students celebrate one another’s success. In recognition of his role in this transformation, Mr. Kern was awarded the Terrel H. Bell National Principal of the Year Award in 2014. 

Mr. Kern encourages students from a young age to take on responsibility and accountability for themselves through hosting student-led parent-teacher conferences and incorporating a 75-minute long STEAM period in the school day. The STEAM program allows students to sign up for an activity of their choice and spend six weeks learning higher-order thinking and questioning skills by working to solve real-world problems both on their own and in groups. 

Students at NAMS have given their principal affectionate nicknames like “Gramps,” “Dad,” and “Brother” because they feel Mr. Kern is an approachable and understanding man willing to listen to their concerns. He makes a point of walking the school hallways on a daily basis talking to students, getting to know them, and encouraging the entire community to be the very best it can be.

Additionally, as an administrator, Mr. Kern likes to make sure that his school is always ahead of the curve. He researches new educational practices and encourages teachers and students to adopt ideas that will lead them on the road to success.

Using Study Island, Mr. Kern engages teachers by having them dissect their classroom data in order to continuously improve their instruction. Study Island has also inspired the NAMS annual Study Island Carnival in which over 400 students who successfully earn 15 Blue Ribbons are given the chance to attend a fun carnival featuring a variety of games and prizes. In the classroom, teachers and specialists use Study Island to provide extra practice, assignments, and interventions for response-to-intervention tier I students. Most recently, Mr. Kern has brought Accucess into NAMS classroom as an additional assessment and intervention tool, and the school has already begun to see tremendous growth and success.

Mr. Kern has worked exceptionally hard over the years to make NAMS not only an outstanding school and community but also a role model to other schools around the area. Congratulations to Mr. Kern on all of his hard work inspiring the students, educators, and entire community of Nazareth Area Middle School!

Want to learn more about how Edmentum is partnering with schools and educators to power inspired teaching and learning? Check out this video, and find out why we believe that anywhere, anytime, we can learn!