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April 4, 2014

Edmeston principal receives top award from state

By Jessica Reynolds Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — An Otsego County principal was honored last week with a prestigious award from the School Administration Association of New York State, according to a March 28th press release. 

Martha Winsor, principal of Edmeston Central School, has been selected as the state-wide recipient for the 2014 K-12 Building Principal Award by the School Administration Association of New York State, the release said. The award, the release said, was created to recognize the unique characteristics of a K-12 building and the related demands, expectations and challenges of a principal in this multi-level environment.

Winsor, 62, said it is “such an honor” to receive the award and said she immediately thought of the other staff and faculty members who help make her job run smoothly.

“Nobody gets an honor like this without the help of the people behind you, working with you and helping you solve any problems that arise,” Winsor said.

Winsor has been principal at the 450-student, pre-kindergarten to 12th grade school for more than 14 years, she said. Positive attitude, she said, is a big part of the atmosphere at Edmeston.

“It makes it a fun place to work,” Winsor said. “I love the teachers, I love the students ... I love everything about (being the principal).”

Winsor said she’s an Edmeston Panther through and through. She grew up in Edmeston and graduated from the school, she said, but was gone for more than 30 years after moving to Oneonta, where she worked as an assistant principal for three years and as a librarian at Oneonta City Schools.

“It’s ironic that I ended up back in Edmeston,” Winsor said.

The School Administration Association of New York State gave out 13 awards this year in differing categories, depending on the type of school at which the administrator works, Winsor said.

The K-12 Building Principal Award is given every year to a SAANYS member who is a successful K-12 principal, a recognized educational leader and who demonstrates leadership in establishing the pace, character and mission of the building, the SAANYS release said. He or she should “demonstrate creativity and resourcefulness in providing comprehensive programs and services for all levels and grades.” SAANYS represents more than 7,200 school administrators, supervisors, and coordinators across New York.

Roxbury Central School Principal Eric Windover said Winsor is known as a compassionate leader and has been a mentor to himself and many others within the academic community.

“Over the last six years, Martha has been my colleague and someone I could rely on to help answer many difficult questions as we have moved through the enormous change that is Race to the Top,” Windover said. “While others voice frustration, anxiety, and more, Martha is steadfast, moving methodically forward on an even keel.”

Edmeston Central School Superintendent Brian Hunt said Winsor is great with everyone she works with.

“Martha demonstrates great care and sensitivity to the needs of students and staff,” Hunt said. “She always knows just what kind words will help a difficult situation. She has been a dedicated and effective principal in Edmeston School District for 14 years.”

Winsor’s colleagues also emphasized her impact on student leadership skills and community awareness through the service organization that she advises, the release said. She has provided a wonderful example of “Service Above Self” and has had an overall positive influence on the students, the release said.

Winsor will be honored for her accomplishments at a May 9 awards ceremony at the Century House in Latham, New York.