California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) alumna Marcia Reed, principal of 186th Street Elementary School in Gardena, was named a 2016 National Distinguished Principals by the National Association of Elementary School Principals on Oct. 7 in Washington, D.C.
The National Distinguished Principals program recognizes public and private school principals who make remarkable contributions to their schools and communities. Reed, who earned an administrative credential from CSUDH was among 58 elementary and middle school principals nationally to receive the recognition.
“I always say that I have America’s best educators here at my school,” said Reed during the award ceremony. “The team I have is awesome. They go way above and beyond what is possible, and they do whatever it takes to help our children be the best they can be.”
Reed was recognized for creating “effective partnerships” within higher education and business, and for helping prepare students for college and career opportunities. She was noted for her commitment to STEM education, and her creation of the elementary school’s technology laboratory. The lab was awarded the Golden Bell Award in 2010 from the California School Board Association, the first Golden Bell Award ever received in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
The 186th Street Elementary School is a “proud partner” with CSUDH, according to Reed. Anthony Normore, chair of Graduate Studies in CSUDH’s College of Education, has worked directly with Reed.
“Marcia Reed is always generous with her time. In spring, 2014, our special education program asked for volunteers to serve on an educator panel in support of anti-bullying in schools,” said Normore. “Marcia quickly stepped up to the plate. She was marvelous and drew tremendous applause for her relentless efforts as a principal dedicated to derailing and deterring bullying in schools and on playgrounds.”
Through teacher collaboration and small group differentiated instruction, Reed has also focused on closing the achievement gap at her elementary school. She has developed an extensive intervention program to support struggling learners, and a partnership with Loyola Marymount University to provide additional opportunities for students ready for greater challenges.
Reed has also helped develop two books on peace and happiness, with forewords written by the Dalai Lama.
For her award and all her accomplishments, Reed has been congratulated by California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
“In the 12 years Marcia has been principal, she and her staff have strived to close the achievement gap for her students,” Torlakson said. “Under her direction, 186th Elementary School became a Title 1 Academic Achieving Award School, a California Distinguished School, and a California Gold Ribbon Award School. I am so proud that she has received this award which is a testament to her hard work and innovative leadership.”