Ascension Parish's Michael Hilton named Louisiana Middle School Principal of the Year

Staff Report
Michael Hilton, Principal of Lowery Middle School

The Louisiana Department of Education and Dream Teachers Louisiana named Lowery Middle School Principal Michael Hilton III the 2023 Louisiana Middle School Principal of the Year.

"We are always grateful when the hard work and dedication of our employees are recognized by those outside our school system and community. This is a very special honor for Mr. Hilton, and we believe it is fitting and well deserved," said Ascension Public Schools Superintendent David Alexander. "Michael effectively leads with energy, enthusiasm, high expectations of himself and others, a servant's heart, and a belief that anything is possible if everyone works together. We are very fortunate to have him in a leadership position as Principal of Lowery Middle School, and we have always recognized his leadership disposition in every role he has undertaken. Finally, Michael not only demonstrates leadership behaviors daily, but he also inspires others to do the same, ultimately helping them become leaders with shared responsibilities."

An 18-year educator, Hilton started his career in Baton Rouge where he served as a teacher, coach, teacher for instructional support, and administrative dean of students. In Ascension Parish, he served as a graduation coach, mentor teacher, and assistant principal at Donaldsonville High School before being named Principal of Lowery Middle School in 2020.

Among his many responsibilities at DHS, Hilton oversaw intervention support, led professional development, and supported the development of an annual school improvement plan. As Principal of Lowery Middle School, his priority focus has been recruiting, retaining, and developing teachers so that they can grow student learning.

Hilton earned a bachelor's degree in secondary education with a minor in English and a master's degree in educational leadership from Louisiana State University. He and his wife, Jaime, have four children: Michael IV, Manuel, Mercy, and Miah.

"I am so grateful for this amazing recognition! This is overwhelming and beyond exciting. For the record, my goal from the onset was not to be the principal of the year. It wasn't even on my radar. My goal has always been the same: to equip and empower students to be the very best versions of themselves." said Hilton. "However, this goal, unlike this recognition, requires more than just one person. It requires a TEAM! With that being said, I have so many to thank. I want to thank Dream Teachers, the Louisiana Department of Education, Superintendent Brumley, Superintendent Alexander, my director Dina Davis, my mentor Marvin Evans, my amazing administrative TEAM at Lowery Middle School, our faculty, our students, and our staff."

"Most importantly, I thank my wife of 17 years, Jaime Hilton; our beautiful children; my parents Michael and Cynthia Hilton; and my siblings Navoda Portley and Tony Hilton. I am who I am because of all of these people. Their love and support have shaped me into the person I am today, and with their continued love and support, we will continue to equip and empower children to be their best," said Hilton.

The Louisiana Department of Education will recognize the teacher and principal of the year finalists on July 30, 2022, at the Dream Teachers Gala in New Orleans. Visit www.louisianabelieves.com/academics/award-programs for more information about the state process.