Principal Jeffrey Abrams

Principal Jeffrey Abrams, second from right, celebrates his award with, from left, Maricopa County Superintendent Steve Watson, Mesa Public Schools Superintendent Andi Fourlis and Governing Board President Elaine Miner.

Jeff Abrams, principal of Franklin at Brimhall Elementary and Franklin Junior High schools, has received a big award.

Abrams received the Exemplary Principal Award from Maricopa County School Superintendent Steve Watson in a surprise visit last week.

 A small group of guests attended in person, while staff, students and families watched the event via livestream. 

The award is presented to administrators who exemplify practices and leadership that contribute to high expectations and exceptional student learning. 

“Principals who receive the award successfully engage staff, parents and community in developing an effective school culture; use data to guide instruction and decisions regarding staff development; have a history of high teacher retention; and demonstrate the ability to develop and inspire others,” MPS said in a statement.

Watson called Abrams “a strengths-based leader” and praised him for developing “a strong culture of learning for both students and teachers."

The 22-year educator is starting his ninth year as principal at Franklin and earned his masters degree from Northern  Arizona University.  

"He has a vision of high academic achievement for his students while supporting their socio-emotional needs," district spokeswoman Heidi Hurst said.

Colleagues say Abrams is a strong communicator who goes above and beyond in celebrating others and putting students first, Hurst said, noting that the consistently A-rated school has earned National Blue Ribbon Awards in 2017 and 2018.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” Abrams said. “This is an individual award that also represents the time, effort and dedication of the entire school community. The Exemplary Principal Award is shared with all the teachers and staff who go above and beyond every day, and the dedicated students who strive to achieve their highest potential with the support of their families. We pride ourselves on focusing on what is best for students, and use that as the driving force behind all decisions we make.”

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