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Helmut Schmidt, Published October 23 2013

Fargo principal to be honored as one of top principals in US

FARGO – Kim Colwell, principal for Horace Mann Roosevelt Elementary School, will be honored Friday as one of the top principals in the nation.

Colwell is one of 61 elementary and middle school principals who will be feted as National Distinguished Principals at an awards banquet in Washington.

Colwell said credit for the award is due to his staff.

“I have an outstanding staff that make me look good, and really super families and kids that are so easy to work with,” he said.

“I spend most of my time thinking of educational initiatives and thinking about the best opportunities for kids because I don’t have to deal a lot with discipline,” Colwell said.

He first learned of the honor in February, he said.

The award is presented by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

“Only a principal can move a school from good to great, simultaneously championing children and uplifting the communities they serve,” NAESP Executive Director Gail Connolly said in a news release.

Colwell has been an educator since 1976, starting as a middle school physical education, health and social studies teacher in Fargo’s Catholic schools network.

His first administrative post was as the principal for Fargo’s Holy Spirit Elementary. After three years there, he was named principal of Shanley High School, where he worked four years.

He was named principal for Fargo Public Schools’ Roosevelt Elementary in 1995. He added being principal of Horace Mann Elementary seven years ago. A year after that, he was named principal of the paired school that was created from the two north Fargo buildings.

Colwell is proud that his staff has been so effective in using data to identify students who need help, or more challenges.

“That has made a phenomenal difference in our test scores,” he said. “We have not had one kid slip through the cracks in the last three to four years.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583