DURHAM, N.C. — R.N. Harris Elementary Principal Mshinda Middleton-Brown has been named 2023-24 Durham Public Schools Principal of the Year.

Durham Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Pascal Mubenga made the announcement during a surprise visit to the school Wednesday morning.

Middleton-Brown started her career as a fourth-grade teacher and has served R.N. Harris as a teacher and administrator for 22 years, according to a news release.

“Elementary is the foundation of education,” Middleton-Brown said. “Staff who are invested are the major contributing factors. They’re the ones who have been there year after year, the individuals who take pride in making sure they are masters of their craft.”

Mubenga said Middleton-Brown is a model leader whose priorities are in order.

“For the past four years, you have fearlessly led this school community with a student-first mentality. That has been embraced by your staff and felt by all your families. You have transformed the lives of our future leaders through your innovation, motivation, and inspiration. Each day, you have shown up ready to ignite the limitless potential of your students. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed, and we see that in what you and your students have been able to accomplish here under your leadership,” Mubenga said.

Looking for more positive news in your day? Check out The Bright Side ☀️

Under Middleton-Brown’s leadership, R.N. Harris was designated as a “B” school for the first time ever, the release stated.

Additionally, R.N. Harris was named a 2023 Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School, and listed among the Top 20 percent of schools in the State of North Carolina for academic growth.

Middleton-Brown will now compete for the Wells-Fargo Regional Principal of the Year title, the release stated.