Sam Watkins, Peru Junior High principal and Peru Junior High were honored at a ceremony on Friday, June 6. Watkins was awarded the key to the city of Peru and was named Peru Community Schools principal of the year. Peru Junior High received a Four Star Academic Excellence award.
“It’s humbling to me,” Watkins said of receiving the key to the city. “I didn’t expect this. This is only the fourth or fifth time he has given a key to the city. It’s humbling.”
Watkins was quick to move the attention off himself, praising his staff and even the mayor. “I’m part of something that s doing He’s been an unbelievable community supporter. He’s been very good for Peru. He cares about the city. He cares about the schools. For him to do this is humbling and it makes me feel very proud to be the principal of Peru Junior High,” added Watkins.
Peru Junior High also received a four star rating in academic excellence, which Watkins attributes to his staff and their students. “This is the first time any school in Miami County has received a four star status. It solidifies our methods and our hard work. The teachers of Peru are the hardest working teachers in the area and this kind of says thank you and lets them know they are doing a great job,” Watkins told The Paper.
Peru students are benefiting from the schools’ constant measures to constantly improve. Peru works under the “Peru Academic Method,” which places an importance on the relationships in the classroom. The staff takes time to close achievement gaps, using interventions if necessary, to make gains with at risk students. “I just hope to continue to work with the staff, parents and students to make sure no child is below grade level or leaves Peru Junior High underachieving. We always strive to make sure every child can have success at Peru Community Schools and beyond. The four star rating was never a goal for the year, but it’s a nice accomplishment for all my teachers and staff,” Watkins told The Paper.
“I feel fortunate every day that I get to go into work and work with kids. A lot of people go to offices and do a lot of things they probably don’t like, but we are fortunate that we get to work with kids every day. We get to serve the community.”