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New Mexico Principal Receives National Education Award


National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) honored John Hartog with the National Distinguished Principal of New Mexico award.

John Hartog receives the National Distinguished Principal award in Washington, DC.

Hartog, a member of Bethany Christian Reformed Church in Gallup, N.M., was presented with his award by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Hartog, principal of Red Rock Elementary for 11 years, has served Gallup-McKinley County school district for 43 years—22 as a teacher and 21 as a principal. “I love kids,” he said. “I really want to see kids do well in the next stages of life. I want them to become productive citizens and be able to give back to their communities.”

Hartog attended Calvin College, Northern Arizona University, and the University of New Mexico to receive his qualifications as a school administrator.

Hartog was also recognized by the New Mexico Athletic Association for serving as a sports official for 35 years. He officiates for high school basketball, softball, and volleyball.

Ron Donkersloot, director of human resources for Gallup-McKinley County Schools, nominated Hartog for this award. Donkersloot, also a member of Bethany CRC, said, “I nominated John because he is a well-respected member of the community and is a successful principal. This recognition is well deserved for the work he has done for over 43 years.”

NAESP awards the Distinguished Principal awards to those “principals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, character, and climate for students, families, and staffs in their learning communities.”

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