What’s Working: Principal known for cheerleader kicks wins national award

What's Working

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — In tonight’s What’s Working, a Mobile County principal is leaving in a few weeks for Washington DC to receive one of the nation’s top education awards. Michelle Adams is the principal at Eichold-Mertz Magnet School of Math, Science and Technology. Adams will receive the Terrell H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership from the United States Department of Education. She is one of only 10 principals selected nationwide.

“I am elated. I feel joy beyond words. I am reduced to tears,” Adams said.

News 5 stopped by Eichold-Mertz to learn more about why Mrs. Adams was selected for this award. When you meet her, you know why. She is passionate, energetic, supportive, and downright fun! She wants her students to succeed and is the first to applaud their success. In fact, Eichold-Mertz has earned a perfect score on the state report card three years in a row, which is unprecedented.

Adams says she wants to dispel a rumor that Eichold handpicks its students. She says her students are selected in a random lottery. She attributes the school’s success to hard work.

“I facilitate the madness. It’s my teachers, parents, and students. They do the work,” Adams said.

Teachers like Jessica Petry say Adams is a joy to work with.

“She is supportive. She’s caring. She is Mama. She is everything you could want in a principal,” Petry said.

Adams says she might be best known for her cheer kicks. She says she’s “still got it,” when it comes to a high kick. She was a cheerleader in High School. She gives the kids a high kick when they do something really awesome.

“It’s like getting a gold star from someone,” Adams said.

Adams views her job as a calling, and the national award is just the icing on her wonderful career.

“You know that teenage slogan, ‘Do you?’ I just “do me” every day. I am so humbled by the award because I “do me” every day. This is who I am,” Adams said.

She leaves for Washington DC to accept the award in a few weeks.

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