Making A Difference: Alabama's Assistant Principal of the Year - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Making A Difference: Alabama's Assistant Principal of the Year

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PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) -

Meet Janice Stockman. Stockman is an educator on the go and always checking on students at Prattville High School.

But Wednesday morning Stockman slowed down enough to talk about winning Alabama's Assistant Principal of the Year.

"I was very surprised because I'm such a worker. My style of leadership is one of service," she said.

It was Stockman's work in starting the Freshman Academy at Prattville High School that put her over the top.

"We offer programs to help freshmen stay in school and help them along as they navigate high school," Stockman said.

Studies show the 9th grade is the crucial turning point, the point where many drop out and give up. Stockman refuses to let that happen.

"I'm a people person and I enjoy knowing their names and a little about their lives," Stockman said.

Stockman has been an educator for 18 years -- the last three at Prattville High School.

Part of Stockman's job is having "heart-to-heart" talks with students who aren't doing what they're capable of. Austin Brown, for one, credits Brown for helping him walk the line when it comes to studying and staying focused. Brown admitted there was a time he just didn't care anymore.

"I was lazy and inconsiderate," Brown said.

Today, Austin Brown's grades have improved dramatically along with his attitude.

"She really had an impact on me and has encouraged me," Brown said.

The Freshman Academy is in its sophomore year in Prattville, and it's too early to tell how successful it will be but so far the numbers are encouraging.

This could be the beginning of positive recognition for Janice Stockman. Stockman travels to Washington, D.C., next April to compete against other assistant principals across the country for a chance to win the national honor.

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