Dr. Dedria Willis, the principal of the Adult Education Center-West Campus for Detroit Public Schools Community District, has tried to be a positive force for her students and staff throughout her career in the district.
And her work was rewarded when she was named as one of five finalists for DPSCD's Principal of the Year honor. To put things in perspective, there are 106 schools in the district, with each building having its own principal (Academy of the Americas K-8 and High School have one principal, Nicholas Brown, overseeing two schools).
Willis got the call on May 2 as she was headed home from a conference.
"I was genuinely surprised and happy, because I heard there was a lot of things going on that week," she said. "I don't know who nominated me, but I was very appreciative."
Though she ultimately did not win, Willis considered an honor just to be nominated.
"To be named among the top five out of 105 principals in the district is very humbling," she said. "I just try to do my best and be positive and collaborate with others for the betterment of our students and schools."