LEESBURG, Ga. (WALB) - A Lee County principal received national honors, and he was surprised with the announcement Monday.
John Savelle was recognized as the National Distinguished Principal of the Year for Georgia.
Savelle is the principal for Lee County Middle School West.
The school held a surprise ceremony for him Monday.
Savelle is one of 50 to receive the award.
“I was kinda taken back. I didn’t expect this today (Monday). Of course, I am humbled by the recognition that was given to me but I think it says something bigger about our community and about our staff. I can only do what I do because we have community support. We have great staff here at the west campus. So this isn’t about me., it’s about our entire staff,” said Savelle.
Savelle was nominated by his supervisors, fellow colleagues and teachers.
School leaders told us this award is the highest honor a middle school principal can receive.
Savelle will receive his award at a black-tie dinner program in Washington, DC in October.
This is made possible through the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
Lee County teachers, faculty and staff are also gearing up to get about a $1,000 bonus on their paycheck this week.
Last week, leaders with the Georgia Board of Education approved a plan to pay $1,000 bonuses to teachers and most other education employees.
They are using $240 million in federal coronavirus relief money.
Lee County is expecting to get just under $800,000 for its faculty and teachers.
School system employees said they’re pretty excited about it.
“It’s been positive. It’s nice to have the extra money and I’m sure that many of our staff have spouses or others that have possibly been laid off of work and this money could come in to help them out,” said Savelle.
Faculty are expected to see that hit their accounts Wednesday, according to school officials.
Lee County Board of Education members had a called meeting on the matter last Thursday to ensure the bonuses made it to paychecks this month.