Mississippi Principal Named Curriculum Associates’ 2023 Inspire Award Winner

Dr. Kiana Pendleton of Laurel Magnet School of the Arts in Laurel School District recognized for her leadership and school’s exemplar use of Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready® program

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass.—Dr. Kiana Pendleton, principal of Laurel Magnet School of the Arts in the Laurel School District in Laurel, MS, was recently named the winner of Curriculum Associates’ 2023 Inspire Award. This recognition, which is part of the company’s annual Extraordinary Educators™ program celebrating exemplar teachers around the country, is given to one administrator nationwide for their ability to create strong bonds with school-based teams to take the use of Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready program to new levels to support students’ academic success.

“Dr. Pendleton is a standout leader who understands the support and resources teachers and students alike need in order to succeed,” said Emily McCann, vice president of educator community at Curriculum Associates. “Dr. Pendleton’s dedication to her school community and her hard work day-in and day-out is admirable.”

Pendleton began her career in education as an America Reads tutor in Jackson, MS. Prior to coming to the Laurel School District in April 2018, she served as a teacher, interventionist, and district reading specialist. For her outstanding leadership and dedicated service as principal of Laurel Magnet School of the Arts, Pendleton was named Laurel School District’s Administrator of the Year in 2019. She was also later selected by the Mississippi Department of Education as a finalist for the title of Mississippi Administrator of the Year.

Of her many accomplishments, Pendleton notably helped move her school from a “B” to an “A” on the 2018–2019 state testing results, achieving the highest rating the school has seen on the state’s accountability model in more than a decade.

“One of my favorite quotes is, ‘The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.’ The recognition from Curriculum Associates is evidence of a dreamer who is dedicated to doing the work for children,” said Pendleton. “I am both honored and humbled to be named the 2023 Inspire Award winner, and I look forward to collaborating with other Extraordinary Educators who make a difference in the lives of our children.”

Along with this year’s class of Extraordinary Educators, Pendleton will have access to a network of peers from around the country to collaborate, connect, and learn from throughout the year, as well as access to professional learning opportunities from Curriculum Associates. She will also be invited to participate and present at the Extraordinary Educators Leadership Summit as well as at other professional learning events throughout the year.

Today, Curriculum Associates’ award-winning i-Ready program is used in the majority of Mississippi’s school districts.

To learn more about Curriculum Associates’ Inspire Award and Extraordinary Educators program, visit CurriculumAssociates.com/Extraordinary-Educators/Classes.

About Curriculum Associates

Founded in 1969, Curriculum Associates, LLC designs research-based print and online instructional materials, screens and assessments, and data management tools. The company’s products and outstanding customer service provide teachers and administrators with the resources necessary for teaching diverse student populations and fostering learning for all students.

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