VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Principal Shampriest Bevel of Virginia Beach’s Bayside Middle School has been named the 2023 Outstanding Middle School Principal of Virginia.

Bevel, whose been with Bayside Middle’s sixth grade campus since 2021, was chosen by a panel of principals and superintendents representing the Principal Awards Committee of the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals (VASSP). This means she’s also in the running for National Principal of the Year through the VASSP.

“She has cultivated a welcoming, inclusive, and affirming environment with a clear vision that every student in her Title I school reads at or above proficiency and identifies a career or post-secondary interest,” the VASSP says.

Under Bevel’s leadership, the school’s seenan improvement in all categories of Standards of Learning (SOL) tests, a 28% drop in discipline referrals and improved attendance levels from 13th place to 2nd place in the school district.

The school was also named a 2022 National ESEA Distinguished School and received the 2022 Purple Heart Award.

Virginia Beach Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence says Bevel “has exceptional personal character, powerful self-motivation, contagious energy, and extraordinary leadership skills. She deeply believes that every child deserves our very best, and she acts on that belief every day.”

The VASSP says Bevel took feedback from students and staff and organized the school into smaller learning communities with a focus on helping people on an individual basis.

Bevel also “enhanced staff outreach with additional instructional coaches and a behavior teacher. For parents, Bevel started the school’s first PTA, frequently conducts workshops, and holds evening events such as Parent Prom, Literacy Night, and Math & Movie night, and Science Symposium.”

Bevel will be honored at the 95th Annual Virginia Middle and High School Principals Conference & Exposition this June in Virginia Beach.