Since becoming the building administrator for the Bootheel School at the beginning of the 2012 school year, Virginia Hardman has "made a great difference," said Dale Holman, home school coordinator for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
"It is like a different place," said Holman, who nominated Hardman for the State Employee of the Month.
The staff are able to meet the student needs better because of Hardman's assistance, he said.
"She has a wealth of knowledge that she has been willing to share," Holman said.
Hardman has been involved in all aspects of the school, visiting each classroom daily and interacting with students and staff.
Her instructional leadership has been "exceptional," Holman said in his nomination.
"She has used her past knowledge and experience as a teacher to create the kind of learning environment needed to meet standards."
Hardman also is aware of her staff's strengths and weaknesses, monitors their instruction and provides timely input for improvement.
Friday "Minute to Win It" activities and a schoolwide art and music program have been successful additions under Hardman's leadership.
Prior to Hardman's arrival, the school had little leadership and motivation, Holman observed. Hardman leads by example and sets a positive role model.
"The challenges to make this a great school were very difficult," Holman said. "Hardman was able to motivate staff and bring about change.
"She did this in a way that caused people to want to do their best."
The State Employee of the Month is selected by the State Employee of the Month Selection Committee from among nominations submitted by the 16 state departments and some elected offices. The six committee members also are members of the State Training Advisory Council.