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Washington Post Names ODU Alumnus a Distinguished Educational Leader

Eric L. Minus, principal of Francis Scott Key Middle School in Silver Spring, Md., and a graduate of Old Dominion University, recently was named the 2009-10 Distinguished Educational Leader for Montgomery County, Md., by The Washington Post.

Minus received a master's degree in community health from ODU's School Of Community and Environmental Health in 1997, and recently earned a doctorate in administration and policy studies from George Washington University. He holds a bachelor's degree from Hampton University.

A video about Minus and the work he and his staff have done at Key Middle School was published and aired on local MCPS and Comcast stations. It can be viewed at


"This has been a wonderful year for me professionally and I am extremely humbled by the accolades," Minus said.

Since 2004, when he became principal of Key Middle School, Minus has shown vision and commitment in bringing Key, a school that was lagging in academic focus, to one where there are high expectations, quality instruction, and a strong partnership with Key's staff and parent community.

His tenure has been marked by higher test scores and increased participation in above-grade-level mathematics courses. Key Middle School also received authorization for an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme, and the recently modernized school building was nationally certified as a "green" school.

"I want [students] to be critical thinkers and problem solvers," Minus said. "I want to make sure that a balance exists between an awareness of what our kids need academically and what they need socially and emotionally."

Community Superintendent Ursula Hermann describes Minus as a compassionate and knowledgeable leader. "He has essentially recreated his school," she said. "High expectations drive his work for his students, his staff, his parent community, and himself."

Minus started his career as a middle school teacher in Newport News, and later taught at the high school level and served as a middle school assistant principal in Montgomery County Schools before joining Key Middle School as principal.

This article was posted on: June 11, 2010

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