Five Neubauer Fellows Honored with Lindback Awards for Distinguished Principals

The Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders is proud to share that five Neubauer Fellows are among the seven individuals who received the 2022 Lindback Award for Distinguished Principals. This prestigious award recognizes school principals who make significant leadership and humanitarian contributions to their communities. Recipients were nominated by a school-based committee of students, teachers, and parents and receive a $20,000 award to be used in their school community.

Since the award’s inception in 2011, 35 Neubauer Fellows have received a Lindback Award. What makes this remarkable is that Neubauer Fellows make up 22% of sitting principals in Philadelphia, and yet they represent 69% of all Lindback Award recipients. The Neubauer Fellows who won this year’s award are:

As demonstrated by their receipt of this prestigious recognition, each of the five Neubauer Fellows have had a profound impact on their school community. We invite you to explore their powerful stories – and their own personal reflection of this recognition – below:

Omar has served as the principal of Northeast High School since 2018. Northeast is the largest and top performing neighborhood high school in the city. Omar shared this accomplishment with the entire school community noting: “I accept this award on behalf of the 3,300 students, 185 teachers, and 90 support staff of Northeast High School. Our school is a mosaic of diversity, achievement, motivation, and commitment by all members of the school community, and winning this award is an acknowledgement and affirmation of the hard work of a team who shares a common vision for student success.” Students comes from over 60 countries and speak 50 languages. Northeast will use the stipend to create outdoor classrooms and greenspaces for students with special needs. They also will build gardening beds and enhanced green space to create farm-to-table and urban farming experiences for students.

Meredith has served as the principal of Overbrook Educational Center (OEC) since 2014. When speaking of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Principals, Meredith said “This is a victory for the entire Overbrook Educational Center community. The collective partnership of our parents, hard work of our teachers and staff, and strength of our students is what I am most proud of. Through all the tribulations our school has endured this year, we showed up, put forth our best effort, and deeply cared about one another.” OEC educates students who are blind and visually impaired and will use the funds to construct a bridge connecting school buildings to maximize instructional time, ensure safety, and directly support student instruction.

Michael has served as principal of Cook-Wissahickon School since 2015. Mike noted, “I am proud of the work that we have done over the past three school years to weather the pandemic, not only returning to in-person learning but also working together as a staff and community to take care of the children.  We did so with very little staff turnover and a real commitment to the work.  We also made a commitment to developing leadership and talent among our ranks by mentoring new leaders, supporting and hiring teacher residents, and moving paraprofessionals into classroom teaching roles.” Mike plans to use the Lindback Award funds to transform the school library to be more accessible to students by creating a performance and exhibition space that can house not only literature but culturally relevant artists, authors, and performers.

Susan has served as the principal of Richmond Elementary School since 2012. The Lindback Award is an honor she shares with her entire community, stating, “The Lindback Award is a celebration of the academic achievement of our students and a recognition of our continuous journey toward excellence. It’s a testament to the hard work of our students, teachers, support staff, families, and community partners.” Susan will use the funds to continue building an environment where equity is at the heart of the school’s work by purchasing materials to support multi-cultural classroom libraries and resources on race and equity for staff and families.

Sue has served as the principal of George Washington High School since 2016.  She attributes her success as a principal to the support of the school community noting, “I feel privileged to work with these incredible teachers, staff, and students who show up every day and strive for excellence. They make winning the Lindback Award possible. This is a win for all of us – the entire George Washington High School community.” As equity is profoundly important to Sue and her school community, she will allocate funds to expand equitable access to quality education and community resources to students and families. They will build partnerships that enhance internships and externships for students to connect their academics to real-life experiences and careers.

We applaud these five Neubauer Fellows – and all Lindback Award recipients – for this tremendous honor.

You can view short videos to hear Neubauer Fellows reflect on this award in their own words here. You can also read press coverage: