JPPSS Principal Named Finalist for 2014 Louisiana Principal of the Year

Julie Berner is honored by Superintendent Dr. Meza as one of the district's principal of the year.

Julie Berner is honored by Superintendent Dr. Meza as the district’s elementary school principal of the year.

Julie Berner, principal of J.C. Ellis Elementary School in the Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS), has been selected as a finalist for Louisiana’s 2014 State Principal of the Year. Berner will move on to compete for the state title, which will be announced at the Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium on Friday, July 12 at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“Julie Berner is one of our school system’s top leaders, and I’m so proud that she has been recognized for her work by the state,” said Superintendent Dr. James Meza, Jr. “Her leadership has helped Ellis improve tremendously over the course of her tenure as principal, and she is respected and beloved by her peers, teachers, and students.”

Candidates for the Principal of the Year undergo a rigorous selections process led by the Louisiana Department of Education, which includes essay questions and information on student achievement and instructional leadership, a site visit, and an interview with the selections committee. The selections process and rubric this year focuses on how principals are supporting teachers in making the shift to Compass and the Common Core State Standards.

“Julie’s success as a principal stems from her ability to make all decisions in the best interests of the children at Ellis,” said Meza. “She and her staff have prioritized the use of data to adjust curriculum and instruction so that they are meeting the specific needs of her students.”

Berner has been an educator with JPPSS since 1992, having taught at Washington Elementary and Audubon Elementary before becoming principal at Ellis in 2000. During her tenure at Ellis, she helped lead the school’s improvement from a school in corrective action to a “B” school in 2012, increasing the school performance score by more than 30 points. Berner is a native of Jefferson Parish and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of the Incarnate Word and a master’s degree in education from the University of New Orleans.