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Local principal named state’s Middle School Administrator of the Year

Principal Liz Dias holds her award next to the new feature wall in their PD conference room, which centers on "The Why" of education.

Principal Liz Dias traveled with her counseling dream team (Carla Christian and Brandy Thompson) to attend the American School Counselor Association last summer, where Houston Middle School was awarded the RAMP distinction after many years of work.

In attendance to support her guidance team, she herself was enriched by the experience.

Then last month, Tennessee’s local chapter of ASCA met and in turn awarded her with their Middle School Administrator of the Year distinction.

Dias recalled the decision four years ago, in which she and the guidance staff decided to pursue the RAMP distinction. They put a team in place to pursue that.

“It was a long process,” she said.

She considers the counselors a vital extension of her administrative team—but not in the way most principals do.

“They aren’t there to handle overflow work, but moreover,” said Dias, “to aid in making integral decisions.”

“These two ladies have their pulse on what the kids want and what the kids need. And here at Houston Middle School we keep the students at the center of all decision making. Everything we do is what’s best for students.”

The counselors at Houston Middle School continually go above and beyond. Emphasis on these social emotional skills like relationship building and character development are brought into the classroom and truly resonate in the culture established by Dias and her guidance team.

“With events like Days of Diversity aimed at increasing a positive culture at Houston Middle School”, said Dias, “we are working with our teachers, parents, and counselors to look at the education of the whole child.”