Middle school principal receives surprise award

Aaron Kurtz/WAVY

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Hugo A. Owens Middle School Principle Amber Dortch received the $25,000 Milken Educator Award during a surprise assembly on Friday, Dec. 11.

The award recognizes teachers, principals and other public school educators who promote excellence and innovation. She is the 41st educator in the state to receive the award since 1999.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples stated, “Amber Dortch epitomizes the 21st-century instructional leader who inspires her teachers and equips them with the tools, strategies and data they need to improve outcomes for students.”

Dortch has been principal of the school since 2013, and has maintained the school’s full accreditation rating.

During the 2014-2015 school year, 83 percent of the school’s students passed state reading tests, which was a 10-percent increase from the previous year. Eighty-nine percent of the students passed in mathematics as well.

Presenting the award to Dortch Friday was Staples, Secretary of Education Anne Holton and Milken Family Foundation Senior Vice President Jane Foley.

On Friday, Holton stated, “As important as the test results is the school climate that Amber has fostered in which all students are valued and challenged to succeed.”

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