Posts Tagged With: Jill Wilson

Jill Wilson Named Principal of the Year!

Some of us spend a lifetime chasing after the next career move that will land us one step closer to our “dream job.”  We set goals and strive for excellence, but even with diligent effort, few of us will ever be regarded as the best.

But for Jill Wilson, Principal of Allendale Elementary School, she has achieved just that. This November, Mrs. Wilson received news from MEMSPA (Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principal’s Association) that she had been named Elementary Principal of the Year!

Jill Wilson, Allendale Public SchoolsEach year, MEMSPA selects one principal from each of its twelve regions for this recognition, with the board of directors and regional representatives making the final selections from a pool of nominations. Mrs. Wilson was nominated by Allendale Public Schools, as well as by several staff members individually, for being compassionate, caring, acting as a mentor and setting high expectations, among numerous others. Yet Mrs. Wilson knew nothing of these nominations until one day in November.

Mrs. Wilson recalls running into Tom DeGraaf, MEMSPA’s Region 12 Director, at a principal’s meeting in Ottawa County last month. Tom wasted no time in prompting her to attend the conference where the awards would be handed out. She remembers bursting into laughter at the thought, feeling that the talent and dedication of the other principals was so honorable that she would never be singled out among such a crowd. Yet Tom’s encouragement was the push she needed to reserve her spot at the annual MEMSPA conference at Traverse City’s Grand Traverse Resort.

Of course that decision proved to be a game changer because at the conference, Mrs. Wilson was awarded Region 12 Michigan Elementary School Principal of the Year! When hearing her name, Mrs. Wilson said she felt a “shot of adrenaline to continue to do as much as I can to impact staff, students and parents in a positive way!”

Reflecting on the evening and the weeks since, she tells us:

“I am very humbled by this honor.  I know that there are many other professionals in the field of education that are passionate about what they are doing and why they are doing it and are far more deserving than I may be.  I have spent 30 years in public education (29 at APS) and I can’t think of a place I’d rather be.  I hope that this award brings awareness of the need for continued support for our teachers, students, support staff and school community as a whole. Allendale Public School District is a place to highlight. An award such as this could not be possible without the love and support of my husband, three daughters and extended family.  They have been there to help whenever they could! I was thrilled to have my husband be able to join me at the event!” 

Our sincere congratulations to Mrs. Wilson for this tremendous honor! We’re blessed to have you serving students in Allendale!

Jill Wilson, Allendale Public Schools, MEMSPA

Categories: Allendale Elementary Schools, Community News | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

Meet Your Principal: Jill Wilson

Jill Wilson, Allendale Public Schools
1. Tell us about your career journey in education, including how long you’ve been in your current role at Allendale.


This is my 30th year with APS! My undergraduate degree from Hope College is in elementary education with a major in special education and a minor in psychology. My master’s degree from WMU is in reading, I also have additional training in educational administration and Reading Recovery. I started at Allendale teaching special education in a resource room for students in kindergarten – third grade. I have also taught first grade and worked as a reading specialist with our district.


2. What makes you love coming to work each day?


I enjoy watching the students respond to their instruction.  There is nothing better than witnessing a love for learning.  Our staff is so caring and talented! The school community is supportive and appreciated.  There is something new and exciting every day!


3. What is something you do each day that people probably don’t realize principals have to do?


I usually walk about 11,000 steps a day, checking on students, teachers and building needs.


4. Name something you personally look forward to each school year.


The excitement of a new year with our youngest learners!


5. If you had an unlimited financial and/or volunteer reserve, what would you do to improve your educational environment?


I would lower the class size in every classroom and provide additional instructional support for every classroom.  I would purchase more resources for each classroom and update our technology including purchasing some IPADs.  Our current building is very close to capacity too!


6. What was the best part of your summer vacation?


My husband and I took an enjoyable trip to Maine.  We had a cottage overlooking Acadia National Park and seals swimming in the waters there!


7. What is your favorite book? (Can be a kid’s book or an adult book)


My favorite children’s book is Charlotte’s Web.  I had the chance to visit the Blue Hill Fairground where Wilbur won his ribbon. I think the book is a fine example of how we can all encourage each other in positive ways!


8. What is one piece of advice you’d like to pass along to the students in your school?


Learning does not take place without practice.  We need to experience new information many times before a connection is made in our brain.  Do not give up, it is worth the effort!
Categories: Allendale Elementary Schools, Allendale Public Schools | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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