Hattie Watts principal rates as state's best
By JEAN L. KAESS
Hattie Watts Elementary Principal Niki Fryou was named the 2013 Louisiana Elementary School Principal of the Year Friday during the Sixth Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration in Baton Rouge.
“Great teachers and great leaders are the heart and soul of great schools. These distinguished educators and administrators are a fine representation of the high-caliber professionals we are fortunate to have in Louisiana public schools,” State Superintendent John White said. “Each of the educators we honored during the celebration of education represents the backbone of our educational system. They are shaping the lives of our children, and we all enjoy thanking them in this very special way.”
Hattie Watts was selected as a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School during the last school year for being a high performing school with at least a 40 percent disadvantaged population. The school held a B-rating, and was one of only 305 in the nation chosen.
“It is an honor to be named the Elementary Principal of the Year for the State of Louisiana. I must give credit where credit is due. This opportunity wouldn’t have been possible without three key pieces: the hard work and dedication of an amazing faculty and staff, commitment to excel from the majority of our students and the loving and caring support of our parents and community,” Fryou said this morning.
“With all those in place, Hattie Watts has earned the honor as a High Poverty High Performing school for the last two years and was named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2011. Our efforts are relentless and we will continue to push every child to reach his or her potential,” she added.
Fryou moved to Louisiana from Indiana, 12 hours from family and friends, to begin her career in education in 1991. After teaching elementary grades for seven years, she shared her love of math at the middle school level for two years before moving to the Central Office Complex as a DEEP math facilitator and staff developer for six years.
In 2006 she was assigned to Hattie Watts as the assistant principal. One year later, she moved into the role of principal.
Fryou said she is proud of her 70+ faculty and staff members and her 688 students who live out the WATTS expectations (Work to Ability, Always Cooperate, Take Responsibility for Actions, Tolerate Others and Show Respect) in order to excel both academically and behaviorally.
“We are incredibly proud of both Mrs. Fryou, for her outstanding leadership, and Hattie Watts for their continued efforts to provide outstanding instruction to the children of Patterson, Louisiana,” Superintendent Donald Aguillard said in a release this morning.