Upholding a Standard of Excellence
By Michael Gurley
Principal of Camelot School Naperville Campus
Every semester we give out an award named after former Naperville principal Shirley Cochran. The awardee’s name goes on a plaque at the front of the building describing what it takes to earn it. As the years move on, fewer and fewer people know Shirley, but we talk about the values she stood for, the excellence in teaching that she demanded, and the care for kids she taught us all.
This year’s winner is Ryan Kollereb, a vocational teacher who worked with Shirley and me for a long time. He is a passionate teacher whose lessons resonate, a dedicated employee who does whatever it takes to make the building work, and an excellent crisis manager whom staff members follow.
When he was presented the award last week, he became emotional as he discussed what it means to be recognized as imbuing the standards that Shirley encouraged. It was a great and powerful moment for the new staff to see a high status team member caring so deeply about our awards and standards.