Metacomet Elementary Principal Desi Nesmith had no idea that the special assembly HE organized would turn into an event honoring him. The faculty and staff, along with the help of Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, organized for Principal Nesmith to receive the Milken Educator Awards and $25,000.
Completely awe-struck and touched to the core are the best ways to describe his heartwarming reaction. The award recognizes outstanding leadership that impacts the lives of every student at Metacomet… and we can see why Principal Nesmith was the hands-down winner.
“What are we going to do to make sure every child succeeds?” This is the motto which Desi Nesmith lives by every day as principal, and how he’s able to motivate and inspire the teachers AND students of Metacomet Elementary. But his passion for the school runs deeper than just having passion and extreme care for the well-being of Metacomet as he is a former student, and even lived across the street as a child.
Nesmith is on a mission to make every one of his student’s have as great of an experience as his. Every morning, he waits for the kids to arrive and gives each student handshakes, high-fives and words of encouragement right as they step off of the bus.
His greatness keeps on flowing. Nesmith has closed the achievement gap by developing individualized learning plans for each student and using data to make corrections throughout the year, and other schools in the area are adopting the same practice. “Since he became principal, Metacomet has eliminated a third-grade achievement gap in reading by 19 percent, with reading scores currently exceeding the state average by 8.1 percent.”
His inspiring attitude extends beyond the classroom, however, as he is vice president of the Neag School of Education Alumni Association at the University of Connecticut and has also spoken to members of Congress about services for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Desi Nesmith’s passion for what he does is evident in every part of his life. He truly has the type of charisma and unrelenting drive that is improving lives and helping kids strive for more.