By Joe Reavis
As someone who exhibits a love for her students and staff everyday, Hartman Elementary School Principal Shawna Ballast was selected as the February recipient of The Wylie Way Award.
The award was presented at a meeting of the Wylie Independent School District board of trustees Monday, Feb. 26. Nominating the recipient was Heather Copeland, an English teacher at Wylie High School.
“Students and staff want to be at Hartman each day because they feel loved and encouraged,” Copeland said. “Wylie ISD is a better place because of Mrs. Ballast and her love for the kids, staff and community.”
Under her leadership, earlier this year Hartman was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School, the first campus in WISD to receive the designation.
Other accomplishments under the direction of the principal have been establishing a partnership with Rack Room Shoes to provide shoe donations to students in need, operating a weekly food cart that provides free food to parents to take home, setting up a small outside library for students to pick up books and the new Garden of Hope.
Ballast also regularly celebrates her students and staff and dresses up for themed events at the school that she creates. In September 2016, the principal ascended in a hot air balloon, while in costume, to celebrate the Day of Hope.
“It is evident she has a clear plan for all people on her campus. She treats them with respect, exhibits kindness, shows gratitude and reflects hope,” Copeland said.
Since August 2012, WISD has presented the Wylie Way Award to individuals and organizations that exhibit the core values of respect, responsibility, kindness, caring grit and preparing students for a prosperous life beyond high school.