By: Erica Montgomery
Posted: 10:00 AM 3/4/2010
The announcement came as a surprise to Watson.
"Oh my gosh! They had cameras, they had all the students, everybody had assembled in the cafeteria. And when I walked in they presented me with flowers and a big congratulations," said Watson.
The award is given by the Magnet Schools of America organization to leaders of schools with outstanding programs that address student achievement and diversity.
Condor Elementary students rotate through classes in everything from music, dance, and strings to African drumming throughout the day.
"The arts program at Condor has been very, very wonderful for the children because they get to be a part of programs that a lot of children don't get to be a part of," said strings teacher Stacey Wiley.
Wiley believes the best candidate received the award.
"She's very deserving, she does great things for our school," said Wiley.
And others agree.
"We are so excited because through her leadership, Condor has become a star in the community. And so this award is just to validate something we already know," said Assistant Principal Alvera Butler.
Watson appreciates the award, but she doesn't take all of the credit.
"I also felt like it was time to say thank you to all of the dedicated staff I have here," said Watson.
The "Principal of the Year" national award will be presented in May at the National Association of Elementary Principals conference in Tampa, Florida.
But by the looks on the faces of Condor Elementary students, Watson is already a winner.
This is the second year a principal in Richland County 2 School District has been selected as a magnet school's "Principal of the Year."