As a former English teacher, perhaps it’s natural for Butler Middle Principal Paula Logan to want to use the power of the principal’s office to launch a schoolwide focus on literacy.
It’s the skill that touches all parts of a child’s education, says Logan, who has been an educator for nearly three decades. Logan credits the all-in energy and commitment of her faculty and staff for the significant gains the Butler Middle Bruins have made in reading proficiency and looks forward to what they can continue to accomplish together.
Her drive to improve student literacy skills, as well as teacher capacities to bolster literacy instruction, is among the reasons that Logan this week was announced as the Utah Middle School Principal of the Year. The Utah Association for Secondary School Principals presented the prestigious award to Logan at the organization’s conference in St. George. Logan also will represent Utah at the National Conference in September.
Colleagues across Canyons describe her as determined, dedicated and steady. They’ve turned to her in crisis, as a sounding board — and for good humor when the chaos and blare of a building packed with awkward and rambunctious adolescents becomes a bit too much to bear.
“When I became an administrator I wanted to come back to the middle school. I wanted to be here, where kids have great energy,” Logan says. “I felt like, as an administrator, I could make a difference in supporting teachers, and creating structures that help them feel less stressed so their focus can be on the kids.”
For Logan, the middle-school years are a special blend of innocence and wonder, growth and change. They are the years when students come into themselves, find their voices, and start to become the young women and men who will change the world. Logan is seen often in the hallways, smiling at her charges, urging them to make the most of the moment, face their fears, and reach for more than they thought they could be.
Logan, who previously was principal of Midvale Middle, also is committed to addressing the social-emotional side of middle school students. Under her leadership, the Butler Middle staff has focused on improving student connectedness. Passing out “Great Bruin” good-behavior incentive cards, recognizing Students of the Week, and encouraging teachers to use the first two minutes of class to connect with hard-to-reach students for 10 days in a row are just a few of the things happening at the school to help build connections.
This year, Logan was recognized in the Canyons District with the 2019 Apex Award for Outstanding Administrator. This is the highest award presented by the Canyons Board of Education and Administration to a school administrator in the District.
At her selection for the top District honor, CSD leaders lauded her unwavering commitment to helping students achieve at high levels. “Paula is probably the most dedicated educator that I have known,” said Mike Sirois, who supervised Logan as the School Performance Director over Canyons’ eight middle schools. “She has a passion for doing what is right with kids.”