KAYSVILLE -- Kathleen Bagley is doing what she loves, and her recent national recognition shows that she shines in the field.
Bagley, who is in her fifth year as principal at Snow Horse Elementary School in Kaysville, has been honored as one of 61 principals nationwide to receive the 2011 national distinguished principal award. She returned from the award ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 21.
"You are in amazing company (at the award ceremony)," she said. "I felt very humbled. Every elementary school principal works really hard. We all do what we can to help kids achieve."
Special Education Teacher Susan Last, who has worked with Bagley for 10 years, raved about her experiences with Bagley. She explained that Bagley is supportive, personable, enthusiastic and on the cutting edge of professional skills.
"She is the most deserving principal that was ever nominated," she said. "A good principal is what makes the biggest difference in the school. They are the key because they keep a cohesive program."
When the school opened five years ago, Last said that Bagley was able to hire wonderful teachers, then foster an environment where everyone works together. When asked what made her stand out, Bagley echoed her ability to hire good people.
"I believe our teachers are the best in the world," she said. "They are willing to go the extra mile and step up to help kids."
She added that all of the school works to be very inclusive of special education. The school is unique because it has five classrooms of special education students.
"We all support each other," Last said. "(Bagley) fosters that working-together (environment)."
Bagley has special training in special education and reading. In her 20 years in education, she has worked with both areas as well as taught fourth grade. She has worked out of state in Illinois as well.
Being part of education is what she felt destined to do.
"I just always felt I would be a teacher," she said, noting that all four of her grandparents, born in the 1880s, were college graduates and taught school. Even her parents were both in education.
"It is in my blood," she said. "I came from a line of people who believe in education. That is also what I believe in. It is the key to a happy, fulfilled life as well as the key to make money and support families."
Her goal is to give all children opportunity and level the playing field so "the promise of democracy is available to every child."