Children working outside on project

Mrs. Caballero named District 1 Middle School Principal of the Year

Fegely Middle School principal Mrs. Ann Marie Caballero collaborates with her teachers and staff to address the academic and social/emotional needs of their students.

They do what they're supposed to do, she says.

Her staff, however, sees her leadership and wanted to recognize her for all she does at Fegely Middle School.

As a result, Mrs. Caballero has been named the 2021 District 1 Middle School Principal of the Year by the Indiana Association of School Principals.

Fegely Middle School assistant principal Mrs. Jennifer Combs nominated Mrs. Caballero earlier this school year. Her nomination made it to the top three in District 1, which put her in contention for the top award. Following a short period of voting, Mrs. Caballero received the news that she had received the title.

"I'm overwhelmed, I'm honored, I'm overjoyed with being nominated," Mrs. Caballero said. "And then to be chosen by the people who know me, and to get the email, it means a lot to me."

The pandemic brought new challenges for Mrs. Caballero and her staff, but she was determined to continue to do everything her school could do for their students, families, and community. To have those efforts recognized, she said, is an amazing feeling.

"It's inspiring to know I'm at the helm of his ship where we do what we need to do," she said. "It's very special."

Mrs. Caballero is thankful to Mrs. Combs for nominating her and to the staff in the school and district who voted for her.

"Mrs. Caballero goes above and beyond her role as a principal," Mrs. Combs said. "During the pandemic, she really went out of her way to help families. I feel that she does so much for our families, and she deserves to be recognized for her hard work."

Mrs. Caballero credits PTS superintendent Dr. Amanda Alaniz and PTS associate superintendent Dr. Michael Stephens for providing support and mentorship in the beginning stages of her career in school leadership.

"Mrs. Caballero places the needs of our students first," Dr. Alaniz said. "They are the driving force behind her leadership and the work she puts into her school. This recognition is very much earned and well deserved."

Mrs. Caballero said she cannot do what she does without the support of her family, who understands her need to put her own time into what she loves to do.

Ultimately, this award recognizes no only her efforts, she said, but the hard work and dedication of everyone at her school.

"I'm very proud," she said.

She will be recognized for her achievement at the IASP Awards Banquet in Indianapolis on November 21.