FARMINGTON — It was hard to find a sticker big enough to celebrate the occasion, Mt. Blue Regional School District assistant superintendent Leanne Condon told an assembly of elementary school students Tuesday morning.

Making do with a traditional-size star sticker, Condon joined with the W.G. Mallett School to celebrate the announcement Tuesday that Principal Tracy Williams had been named Maine’s National Distinguished Principal of the Year for 2015.

“Mrs. Williams is being celebrated for being the best principal in the whole state,” Condon told the students, who cheered and gave a group “Wow.”

Williams, who has been principal at the Mallett School since 2005, was presented the award in front of more than 100 students at the pre-kindergarten through third grade elementary school.

Williams told the students gathered in the gymnasium that she had stood in front of a school assembly many times but had never expected to stand in front of one to be honored personally.

“There’s never been one about me,” she said, telling the children and staff that the award reflected the work of the school as a whole, including the people who don’t normally get credit for keeping the school going.

“I know how hard so many people work without recognition,” she said.

Williams was recognized for her role in developing a positive culture at the school, building student-centered programs, and being instrumental in creating high-quality professional development for the staff in her school and the district, according to the association.

“This is the best job anyone could have,” she told the assembly.

Richard Durost, executive director of the 800-member Maine Principals’ Association, said Williams and the school impressed the principals’ group as they considered who should receive the award.

“You impressed our committee of four how great your school is,” he said when presenting Williams the award as the 2015 Elementary School Principal of the Year.

Williams pointed out her mother, who sat to her right during the assembly, and recalled that when she was 12, she had won a speech contest but had not told her parents about the contest, so they weren’t there when she won. Now, as principal, Williams said she was glad she could invite her mother to a different award presentation.

“I’m glad that today my mom is here with me,” she said.

Williams received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Maine at Farmington in 1982, earned a master’s degree in individualized literacy and staff development from the University of Maine in 1992, and completed a Certificate of Advanced Study in literacy, also from the University of Maine, in 2000.

Before working at the Farmington school, Williams was a reading recovery teacher leader and trainer for the University of Maine, a classroom teacher at Phillips Elementary School from 1985 to 1996, a speech therapist for School Administrative District 58 from 1983 to1985, and speech clinician in the Litchfield and Sabattus schools from 1982 to 1983.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

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