We believe that strong leadership in a school promotes excellent teaching.  Outstanding principals inspire outstanding teachers and create a positive learning environment essential to the culture of every successful school.  This year Golden Apple Foundation is pleased to recognize Dr. Pamela Nichols of White Swan Elementary School with the Ninth AnnualPuri Family Outstanding Principal Award.


Debuting this year is a traveling trophy that will remain in the Outstanding Principal's school until the next recipient is awarded. The new trophy was crafted by local artist Lee Sido of Northern Illinois University. Dr. Nichols will receive $1,500 cash to be used in her school and $500 in Volcano Falls gift certificates to reward excellent students, all compliments of the Puri Family.  A Secondary School Principal will be recognized in 2015.

Her nominators had this to say, “Dr. Nichols is committed to creating a positive environment and sense of community by establishing many special initiatives such as the First Grade Bully Program, Lunch with the Principal, Grandparent’s Day, Veteran readers, Patriotic Assembly, Volunteer Tea, Dad’s Night and many other events. All students look forward to their turn having “Lunch with the Principal.” Students join Dr. Nichols for a special lunch that includes sitting at “The Principal’s Table” with a tablecloth and reading a book together. Some students even demonstrate their pride in having lunch with the principal by dressing up for their special lunch.” A parent said, “Don’t be surprised to see her pop into the classrooms throughout the day to check on the progress of things. Dr. Nichols has a great way of guiding the students on how to make the right choices and take ownership of any consequences that may come from those choices… I feel that my children are getting the best education possible at White Swan thanks to Dr. Nichols and her wonderful staff.”

Other principals nominated for the award are:

  • Lisa Clark of Loves Park Elementary School
  • Patrick Flanagan of St. Rita Catholic School
  • Carolyn Kloss of Hillman Elementary
  • Raymond Owens of Spring Creek School
  • John Ulferts of Shirland School

Congratulations Dr. Pamela Nichols!