School administrator praises others for her award

   To Dr. Cathy Pierce, assistant superintendent of Education Service for the Ramona Unified School District, data rules. If it doesn’t work, reinvent it. If it isn’t fun, engaging and educational, then it’s back to the drawing board.

   With Pierce, it is always about student achievement and what is best for them in the long run. That approach to her job may be among reasons the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) awarded her with a high honor this year.

   The association each year awards top leaders in 19 different categories of school administration. This year, the Curriculum and Instruction Administrator of the Year Award goes to Pierce.

   Pierce has been with the Ramona district since 2004. As the district’s director of Assessment and Categorical Services, she was the driving force behind so many cutting edge programs such as MAP (Measures of Academic Progress), Odyssey, Data Director, Destiny and more.

   Because of all this, nominating her came naturally for Superintendent Dr. Robert Graeff.

   “This award is in recognition of the tremendous leadership that Dr. Pierce has exhibited within the district and among her colleagues in other local school districts,” said Graeff. “The award shows that our local schools are pioneering several key educational initiatives and cutting-edge practices —and that Dr. Pierce’s work is a primary reason behind our success.”

   Before coming to the Ramona district, Pierce was a site administrator with San Diego City Schools.  Prior to that, she worked at the San Diego County Office of Education as Secondary Mathematics Coordinator.

  She also spent many years as a middle school and high school mathematics teacher.  Her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management is from Alliant International University.

   When Pierce works with teachers, they examine numbers and use the numbers as the driving force behind lesson plans or intervention strategies. Pierce also helps to ensure teachers receive state-of-the-art professional development in mathematics and more.

   “First and foremost, the education of each and every child is of the utmost importance to me,” she said. “As I work with Education Services staff, I constantly emphasize our mission of support. No question is too small. No request is too large. In addition to supporting staff, I strive to create the systemic structures that will move our educational program to a higher level.”

   In addition, said Pierce, “we are tapping into technology in ways we never imagined...online learning for students and staff, Web pages, Google Docs, Wiki pages and more. In essence, Education Services strives to support staff with their teaching and learning today while making the vision of 21st century learning becoming a reality tomorrow.”  

   This dedication is evidenced in the district’s climbing test scores, said Graeff.

“In her role as the administrator responsible for curriculum and instruction, her leadership has assisted our school leaders in maintaining an unbroken streak of raising our overall Academic Performance Index (API) every year since state test scores have been reported (2001),” said Graeff.

   Pierce is honored by the award, but credits her “team” for her nomination.

   “Our teachers, principals and other staff members work tirelessly every day making sure students have the best possible education,” she said.  “This honor, even though I am being recognized, is in part due to the outstanding learning opportunities teachers, principals and other staff provide for all of our students. I am humbled by this honor, but during the ceremony I will be thinking of how it truly does take a village to educate a child. And, I am proud to be a part of Ramona Unified’s village.”

   “Honestly, I don’t know where we would be without her,” said Graeff. “She coordinates all of our district testing, she supervises our district’s educational programs, and supports site administrators in their respective work. This award is well-deserved and long overdue. Ramona parents should be grateful that we have her and should take pride in the many advances that she has brought to our local schools.”

   Pierce will be honored on April 29.

   “I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to all staff throughout the district for the outstanding education experience they provide all students and specifically recognize the Education Services staff’s dedication and ongoing support of sites and their efforts,” she said. “Together we make it work for kids.”

   
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