STONINGTON — Alicia Sweet Dawe has been recognized as the Elementary Principal of the Year by the Connecticut Association of Schools and the National Association of Elementary School Principals. The award was announced on Friday.

 Dawe’s career in education spans over 24 years. She has been the principal of West Broad Street School and West Vine Street School since 2013 and also served as assistant principal of the two schools for the previous two years. She also taught at Deans Mill Elementary School for 14 years.

At her office at West Vine Street School on Friday, Dawe said the award was a reflection of her students, staff and the Pawcatuck community.

“This award is a representation of my kids, my students, my families, my staff, this represents all of us,” she said. “I’m honored to bring this back to my kids and my faculty. We’re a team, it’s not just me, and I truly truly believe that.”

Stonington school Superintendent Van Riley described Dawe as one of the finest building leaders he has ever worked with.

“When the team came from the state, they interviewed parents, students, peers, the board and us and everybody — and they had said they had never been so sure of their choice of Alicia, it was so complimentary,” he said Friday. “We felt so good in nominating her because she does an amazing job.”

Kathy Irvine, assistant principal of West Vine Street School and one of those who nominated Dawe for the award, said Dawe has created an exceptional educational environment for students and teachers.

“It is my honor every day to work beside her to lead our schools to be models of excellence where staff and students love to learn, feel valued and empowered, and work together to promote a climate of high expectations and inclusion for all,” she said.

Dawe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Nichols College, in Dudley, Mass., a Master of Science degree in education from the University of New Haven and a sixth year degree in administration from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. She also recently participated in the Women’s Leadership Program at Yale University.

She said she was overwhelmed by the support she had received from parents, families and staff members.

“It’s a team effort, it’s not just me, it’s a reflection on them as a team,” she said. “It’s a 100 percent reflection of my kids and everything the staff does, the hard work that they do, everything that the parents do, it’s a reflection of the whole community,

The Connecticut Association of Schools will honor Dawe this spring and she will also be honored at the national level by the National Association of Elementary School Principals later in the year.

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