Janet Hamby has had quite a year … and it’s only May.
The Fair Oaks Elementary School Vice Principal was acknowledged this past weekend as Association of California School Administrator Region VII Elementary Co-Administrator of the Year. It’s an honor given to just 20 Region VII administrators representing Amador, Calaveras, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties.
“I had no clue I was even being submitted for consideration,” Hamby said of her nomination by Fair Oaks Principal Kathy Pinol. “Then Kathy found out in February I was chosen as the Region VII Co-Administrator of the year. So, we celebrated as a staff in February.
“They have an annual conference and awards ceremony,” she continued. “So, that’s where I received my award this past weekend in Lake Tahoe.”
The Region VII honor, however, isn’t the only excitement happening in Hamby’s professional career. The announcement of her promotion to incoming 2016-17 Principal at Magnolia School was made in early April.
“It’s overwhelming. It’s exciting,” Hamby said of the recent events. “I’m so excited, especially looking forward to next year.”
Hamby is a native of Oakdale and has been employed with the Oakdale Joint Unified School District for the past 27 years. She began her career as a fourth grade teacher at Cloverland Elementary School.
“I’m ready to serve the district in that leadership role,” she said of her transition to site principal. “It’s a goal that I’ve been working for and it’s neat to have it all come together here in Oakdale.”
The ASCA award recipient noted past Cloverland Principal Stacey Aprile as being instrumental in her transition from teacher to administrator.
“As the teacher in charge, she would give me things and say go with it, go do it,” Hamby recalled. “I got my feet wet in it and I realized I love it. I can make a bigger difference in this job.”
The promotion and outside honors, she admitted, have made for quite the first few months of 2016.
“I’m just me,” Hamby said, taken aback by emotion, as she acknowledged the region honor. “This is how I am. This is my passion and I’m happy to do it and I don’t need all of this.”
The ASCA nomination made by Pinol highlights a number of Hamby’s outstanding attributes, one of which was noted during the award presentation on Saturday. Pinol wrote: “Mrs. Hamby makes it her personal goal to know all 880 student’s names and their teachers as well as most of the parent’s names to foster a welcoming school culture.”
“It’s important to me to be able to greet them by name,” Hamby stated. “It’s important to me to build that relationship with them.”
Hamby also shared her fondness and true partnership with Pinol, who serves as leader of the Fair Oaks administrative staff and how that has shaped her for the next step of her professional career.
“Do you best. Be your best. That’s something that Kathy brought to the site,” she stated. “Be your best me’ character trait program, it embodies me. I always work to be my best, however I can serve.”
Her nomination lists a number of traits which support the administrator’s word of true ‘service’ some of which include an Anti-Bullying assembly, coordination of the EL and GATE programs, The Best Me monthly assemblies and collaboration of working with families on campus in need.
“I’m not in this for awards and accolades,” Hamby humbly stated. “I do what I do because it’s who I am. I do it for what’s best for kids and what’s best for staff. Anything I can do for them … I will do to the best of my ability.”