Centerville Elementary School Principal Tracy Hilliard received the 2018 National Distinguished Principal for Maryland award last week.

The award, presented by the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals, honors a principal for setting high standards for instruction, student achievement, character and climate for students, families and staff.

Mark Pritts, FCPS elementary instructional director, credited Hilliard as the comprehensive school leader that every school community needs for exemplary student achievement, saying her focus on putting students first was the primary driver in the school being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Parent Ashleigh Duclos wrote a letter to nominate Hilliard for the award, saying she appreciated Hilliard's engagement with parents.

“Parents are invited and encouraged to come and celebrate their child’s achievements," Duclos wrote. "As a parent, I feel very informed about the events that are occurring in our school. ... She is an approachable and responsive principal who is always willing to sit down and talk, no problem is too big or too small, the children come first.”

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