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Educating the Leaders of Tomorrow: Argosy University, Sarasota Campus Graduate and Award-winning Principal Sets Sights on Ultimate Reward

According to Dr. Maria Bradley, principal of Gladden Middle School in Chatsworth, GA, the rewards of being a middle school principal appear in the success and accomplishments of her students. However, Bradley, who received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Argosy University/Sarasota, was recently awarded a distinctly personal accolade when she was named the Georgia Association of Education Leaders' (GAEL) Outstanding Educator for the Georgia Association of Middle School Principals.

The prestigious award recognizes Bradley's endless effort at Gladden Middle School to provide students with an exceptional education in an environment that promotes creativity, academic excellence, and teamwork. Among her efforts, Bradley has initiated teacher leadership councils, effective behavior teams, student recognition programs, and faculty study groups. She also encourages the utilization of technology in order to enhance learning.

Upon being named winner of the award, Bradley recalls feeling gratitude for the support system. "I immediately thought of those who have helped me achieve at this level, including the outstanding faculty at my school, as well as the organizations and institutions like Argosy University/Sarasota which have encouraged the professional advancements I've been able to make in the educational world."

Bradley's decision to attend the Educational Leadership doctoral program at Argosy University/Sarasota was originally based on colleague recommendations and the school's ability to accommodate a student working full time while raising a family. She also believes that the education she received at Argosy University/Sarasota is distinct from other schools in its emphasis on practical theory relevant towards a leadership role within the educational world. Bradley also sites the valuable networking opportunities and experienced faculty among reasons she benefited from her Argosy University/Sarasota education.

Bradley's accomplishments have certainly had a huge impact not only on her own students, but also on the greater community: With her appointment as principal of Gladden Middle School, she became the first female principal of a middle school in Murray County. In the end, however, Bradley sets aside any desire for personal accolades to focus solely on the progress and success of her school and its students. Because while her achievements may have led to recognition from industry peers and gratitude from local communities, she believes her ultimate reward is several years down the road. "As the principal, I must do what it takes to ensure that the students at Gladden Middle School have every opportunity to excel. The most rewarding part of my job is creating a learning environment that will equip our students to one day become leaders in the 21st century."