Four Romanian school principals from Ditrău (Harghita county), Curcani (Călărași county), Popricani (Iași county) and Iași, who had exceptional results such as reducing school dropout or functional illiteracy in the schools they lead have were awarded at the Awards Gala for Directors of the Year 2022, organized by the Association for Values in Education (AVE). The Director of the Year 2022 was appointed Cristina Hadâmbu, director of the “Puskás Tivadar” Technological High School in Ditrău (Harghita county).
- 270 school principals registered for the competition and told about the transformations they have made in the schools they lead.
Four school principals from Romania, two of which from Iași county, were awarded for having contributed to the reduction of school dropout or functional illiteracy in the schools they lead.
Cristina Hadâmbu, director of the Technological High School “Puskás Tivadar” from Ditrău (Harghita District), received an award for Director of the Year 2022 because he was able to bring students to school, help them not drop out of classes, and send them to internships at companies in Portugal, Poland or Spain .
“Puskás Tivadar” Technological High School it is located in the countryside, in a poorly industrialized area, and the students enrolled in this unit face many economic and social problems. Many of them come from disorganized, single-parent families or with parents gone abroad to work, left in the care of relatives or neighbors, with a high risk of early school dropout. In this context, in 2018, Cristina Hadâmbu, together with teachers, local authorities and private partners, established a professional-dual education unit.
“Through this learning system we managed to educate more than 100 students from very poor families, students who would have left school early if they did not have a source of income. In 2018, we were in partnership with four economic operators, and currently, in 2022, we have 28 partner operators involved in educating young people through dual education”declared Cristina Hadâmbu.
“The director of the Technological High School “Puskás Tivadar” implemented Erasmus projects, through which students could do internships at companies in Portugal, Poland or Spain. The teaching staff also attended training courses, programs were created for the protection of the environment in which students from the “Forestist” specialization planted over 15,000 fir saplings in the period 2018-2022. Through a project supported by the Harghita County Development Association, in 2022 the director of the technological high school and the teaching staff ofu set up a modern gastronomy laboratory, worth 30,000 euros, necessary for the study of confectionary specializations – pastry chef, cook, waiter.
In the 2021-2022 school year, the high school changed its location to a new, modern building with properly equipped classrooms, and 6 new high school and post-high school profiles were authorized, which offered opportunities for education to students with reduced financial possibilities “, the statement states.
Award Entrepreneurship Director of the Year was won at this edition by Simona Elena Voinescu, director at Popricani High School, Iași county, which, through a project financed by European funds, digitized all 16 educational spaces with interactive whiteboards, laptops, video projectors, equipping an ICT laboratory with 24 desktops. The 31 teaching staff received high-performance laptops in their custody, with the help of which the mathematics teachers, for example, created a website with tests for the National Assessment, the results of which were accessible to the students in real time. This educational resource has been made available to teachers across the country.
The pass percentage in the National Assessment increased by 93.3% in the 2021-2022 school year, and in the mathematics discipline, for the first time in the last 8 years, the pass percentage was 100%.
Award Innovation Director of the Year was granted to him Viforel Dorobanțu, director of Secondary School No. 1 Curcani (Călărași County), pilot school from 2021. In this pilot, Viforel Dorobanțu proposed a new curricular architecture, bringing some notable novelties:
- studying physics starting from the 5th grade and chemistry starting from the 6th grade;
- giving up written papers in Romanian and mathematics (something also taken over by the Ministry of Education, starting with the 2022-2023 school year);
- reducing the number of hours in mathematics from 4 to 3.
The projects carried out by the director Secondary Schools No. 1 Curcani (Călărași County) involved 60 students who started the study of physics in the 5th grade and 60 students who started the study of chemistry in the 6th grade. Moreover, they contributed to the drop in the absenteeism rate from 40% to 10% and the percentage of correct students in mathematics, Romanian language, physics, chemistry, foreign languages from 30% to 15%.
Georgiana Livia Antoci received the award for Director of the Year for Equal Opportunities
She leads “Elena Cuza” Secondary School in Iasi. In the 2021-2022 school year, he initiated under the motto “Every child deserves to know more!” projects through which “teachers were able to better support the quick and easy integration of all children, at the pace they were used to before the pandemic. Being an integrative and multicultural school with over 650 students, the challenges were many and varied, especially since the school population also consists of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, whether it is a poor economic situation or they have special educational requirements or are of Roma ethnicity,” states the press release of the organizers of the 2022 Director of the Year Gala.