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Four Receive Principal of The Year Awards
Updated May 5, 2013 1:10 AM
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(SALEM) - East Washington Middle School Principal Linda Leudeman, Assistant Principal Tom Cullen and Elementary School Assistant Principal and district Transportation Director Greg Hopkins have received Principal of the Year Awards for District 12 in Indiana.

The Leader-Democrat reports, the principals were nominated around February or March, Leudeman said. The nominees fill out an application and they later find out if they have made it to the second round. The names of the winners were released publicly in October.

Leudeman knew as a child she wanted to be a teacher. She spent 16 years teaching at Crothersville Elementary School and got her principal's license before she was hired as assistant principal at East Washington Elementary School. From there Leudeman served as principal at Seymour-Jackson Elementary School in Seymour and while working on her superintendent's license she realized she would need more experience than just elementary schools. That was when EWMS had an opening for a principal. That was eight years ago and she still loves being principal of the middle school.

Down the hall from Leudeman's office, Cullen sits at his desk, keeping an eye on the monitors as students go to and from lunch and classes. He's been on the staff at East Washington for more than 15 years in various capacities, including his current role as assistant principal, coach, athletic director and teacher and was recognized along with Leudeman as a principal of the year.

On top of his District 12 honor, Cullen was awarded the Indiana Association of School Principal's 2012 Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year Award on Sunday.

He was on staff with East Washington from 1987 to 1991 when he transitioned to South Central High School and then returned to East Washington in 1996, after which he taught and served as middle school athletic director and boys' varsity basketball coach.

On the other side of the campus, Greg Hopkins, assistant principal and district transportation director, goes about his daily duties at the elementary school. He's been with East Washington for 17 years - his entire career - starting out as a second-grade teacher for one year, a first-grade teacher for 12 years and he's been in administration for four years.

Regardless of the building they work for, all three of these educators share a common love for their students, their staff and their district.

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