Nieuwenhuizen will receive national prestigious honor


Mahogany Thomas

Dr. Lisa Nieuwenhuizen looks at an email during the work day. Photo by Samantha Peterson
As an influential educator for CPS, Dr. Lisa Nieuwenhuizen qualified for national recognition because of her outstanding contributions to the district. On April 20, 2011, at the University of Missouri – Columbia, Nieuwenhuizen will receive the University Council for Educational Administration’s Excellence in Educational Leadership Award (UCEA).
The award is designed to recognize school principals who have made momentous impacts on the improvements of administrator preparation among educators and school districts.
Nieuwenhuizen, nominated for the award by one of the members of her dissertation, was shocked at the news that she had won this national recognition. On March 21, 2011, Nieuwenhuizen received a letter of congratulations informing her that she was to receive this prestigious honor.
Faculty around RBHS said they feel Nieuwenhuizen’s impact around the school and believe she is more than worthy of national honor. Chemistry and physics teacher, Stephanie Harman said it’s a joy working with her, and thinks she does an outstanding job.
“Dr. Nieuwenhuizen has a particular interest in helping future administrators gain experience in the field and has served as a mentor for many of my colleagues as they go through the certification process,” Harman said. “In addition, she serves as an invaluable resource to the faculty not only in their growth as leaders but also in their growth as educators.”
The award comes from member universities of the UCEA, who then nominate practitioners, people who are in the field of educational leadership; who not only hold leadership positions but are also interested in the education of future administrators across the nation, which is exactly what her surrounding faculty said she does.
“For the last couple of years I’ve worked with all the secondary assistant principals in Columbia Public Schools [to] coordinate our meetings and create staff development and training for us, issues on drugs and gangs and violence, trying to stay in front of pressing issues as well as working on achievement gap issues,” Nieuwenhuizen said.
As an advocate for children of poverty for over 20 years, Nieuwenhuizen continues to work for social justice in public education attacking all conflicting areas from race to socioeconomic disparities. As co-author of the original A-Plus grant for CPS, this award just inspires her to continue her work as both an educational advocate and mentor, while affirming her influence in the lives of those who surround her, Nieuwenhuizen said.
“As for how it impacts me, I think it really just validates the work that I do mentoring, aspiring administrators and collaborating with current administrators,” Nieuwenhuizen said.
By Mahogany Thomas