Ronnie Harvey Jr., Washington-Marion Magnet High School principal, has been named the 2022 Louisiana High School Principal of the Year. Harvey advanced from the ranks of semifinalists and finalists to be named the state’s high school division winner.
While he has felt the love from every corner of Calcasieu Parish, Harvey said the win still feels surreal. “I don’t think it’s really hit yet. I walked into a store and the clerk was like, ‘Hey, you’re the Principal of the Year.’ I was just like, ‘Wow, even people outside of education have noticed it.’”
Harvey is honored to accept the award, he said, but truly the honor is for the entire Washington-Marion family. “I feel like this was a team win. It’s a reflection of the things we’ve been working towards at Washington Marion.”
He hopes the award inspires the leadership community around him, he said. “I have great assistant principals. I hope to use this as their motivation to go and seek principalship. I hope the torch can be passed on to them.”
Friday’s award ceremony was virtual and a surprise watch party was thrown in his honor on Friday. “I had no clue they were doing that. It was really, really cool to see people gather and celebrate you…Even though it was virtual I still got a chance to feel the love.”
The win is also a tribute to his family, friends, Calcasieu Parish School Board personnel and community members who hosted the party, he said.
There’s no stopping now, Harvey said, as the next school year quickly approaches. “I’m looking to go and get more this year, not so much for myself because I’m very humbled by the award, but I feel like I owe it all to my students. This is for them,” he said.
In addition to his principalship duties, Harvey will now participate in various speaking engagements statewide and even nationally. “You kind of become the poster child of education in a sense,” he said
He looks forward to the future and hopes to show the state and nation what great things come from Lake Charles. “To be a product of the feeder schools and then make it to here, I just never imagined I’d be at this point. I just completed my fifth year as a principal, so this honor is just incredible.”