Elementary Principal Wins Prestigious Award
Click here to see a video about the award.
By ASPV News Staff
PUERTO VALLARTA – Mrs. Kathleen Selitzer, principal of the American School of Puerto Vallarta’s primary school, recently received the 2011 International Distinguished Principal of the Year award, chosen by the U.S. Department of State. The awards ceremony took place in Washington, D.C.
It is the highest award given to educators serving as principals in the U.S. and at international American schools around the world. The award, established in 1984 by the National Association of Elementary Principals for elementary and middle-school principals, recognizes educators who set high standards for instruction and student achievement, in addition to fostering character education and a supportive climate for students, families and staff in their learning communities.
"The honor of being chosen as an NAESP distinguished international principal is really overwhelming. It is not just a recognition of my work but that of all the members of the ASPV community,” Mrs. Selitzer said. “I am particularly heartened that at a time when bigger usually means better, the sparkle of our little gem of a school can be appreciated by the rest of the world.”
Mrs. Selitzer received her award in addition to one principal from each U.S. state and one other principal from an international school in Prague in the Czech Republic.
Mrs. Selitzer began teaching in Washoe County, Nevada after graduating with a degree in elementary and special education from the University of Nevada Reno. In her fifth year teaching, she received the Washoe County Teachers Association Distinguished Performance Award. Later, she taught special education and managed a demonstration diagnostic classroom at the University of Nevada College of Education.
After a professor in her master’s program loaned her a book called, “Schools Abroad of Interest to Americans”, her destiny took a sharp turn south. She packed up to teach third grade at the American School of Pachuca, Mexico and began a career as a principal shortly after that.
Mrs. Selitzer and her husband Jerry founded the American School of Puerto Vallarta 25 years ago. She is an avid supporter of the small school community as crucial to an individualized approach to learning.