School Leader of the Year 2014-2015 Kerri Barrett

Choice is proud to introduce Kerri Barrett as the 2014-2015 School Leader of the Year Award recipient!

Kerri Barrett is the elementary principal of West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science (WMAES). WMAES is an environmentally focused preschool through 12th grade school located in Walker, Michigan.

“Kerri lives and breathes the Choice mission of empowering others to achieve their American dream,” says Sarah Wildey, Choice’s Vice President. “Whether it is encouraging students to rise above their circumstances, leading her team to never give up on a student or each other, or inspiring her peers to fully implement the Choice model, Kerri has chosen Choice for her past, present, and future,” she adds.

“I’m honored to have received this award! I feel very passionate about being a principal because of the many different people I get to work with on a daily basis. I get to collaborate with teachers to develop a school that allows all students to learn in the best way for them, which is the most rewarding experience,” Barrett said.

Watch this video to hear a word of advice from our 2014-2015 School Leader of the Year!

In Barrett’s six years with WMAES, the school has been named the highest ranked charter school in Kent County (Mackinac Center for Public Policy), they have made the top 10 best charter schools in Michigan list twice (Bridge Magazine), and have been named the BEST school in their district (Bridge Magazine). From a social studies teacher, to the service learning trip coordinator and volleyball coach to school leader, Kerri knows the importance of every staff member at WMAES.

“Kerri adds value each day to the lives of families and employees through collaborative leadership and passionate investment in children and employees,” says Sid Faucette, Choice’s President. “She and her team inspire exceptional student achievement, readiness for middle and high school, and heart for service and community. Kerri leads by example. She gives unselfishly to the WMAES family and to Choice Schools and never seeks recognition. Her body of work embraces our core values and invigorates the heart and soul of WMAES. We are proud to have her on our team.”

“In my experience, I’ve found that it truly takes a team to be effective in an educational setting. My success as an administrator has come because of using what works, which is educating students through differentiated instruction and accelerating their learning to ensure that at least one year’s growth occurs for every child,” explained Barrett.

I want to be constantly learning and using the support of my colleagues and Choice to ensure we are doing everything we can for kids each day. If I can end each day knowing my team and I made decisions centered on our students, then we have had a successful day!

Barrett’s favorite part about leading a school is seeing the entire WMAES community come together for school events and celebrations, seeing the students learn through hands-on science activities, and witnessing the impact the WMAES’ service learning students have on the community around them.

Please join us in congratulating Kerri by sending her a note here.