In 2000 Gary B. Bartee received the Patrick Francis Daly Memorial Award for his outstanding leadership of Ardmore Elementary School in Landover in Prince George's County, Maryland. Gary was the principal of North Chevy Chase Elementary School in Montgomery County, Maryland. He is now the liaison for Montgomery County Public Schools Professional Growth Systems (PGS)—Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals.
Reflection on the Comer Process:
Over the last 14 years I've served as a principal in Prince George's County Public Schools, New York City Public Schools, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and Montgomery County Public Schools. In each district my experiences have also included opportunities to participate at the executive leadership level regarding decisions that impact the larger system.
The impact of the School Development Program is significant in my life and still encompasses a great deal of my leadership style. The most critical element of the SDP for me is the emphasis and processes for building and sustaining relationships between and among staff, students, parents, and the community. This has served me well in developing a culture that not only focuses on maximizing potential of one child at a time, but also takes serious the charge, as parents, staff, and leadership to build our capacity for the benefit of the children entrusted to our care.
When we look at a child, we never limit ourselves to their cognitive-intellectual development but always consider the whole child as we identify their strengths and their opportunities for improvement. As a result of this culture we have created an atmosphere of both honest and transparent reflections that help us engage in a process of continuous improvement.