Young Elementary School Principal Christy Norwood is the recipient of the 2024 Award for Service Above and Beyond.

“It’s a very big honor, but I also feel like it’s my job,” Norwood told the Springdale School Board at the April 8 board meeting. “So, sometimes it’s hard to accept that when I feel like I’m just doing my calling.”

Norwood was surprised with the award April 5 at a presentation at Young Elementary by Dr. Mike Hernandez, Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators executive director.

The award is sponsored by Lifetouch, and the recipient is selected by the Arkansas Association of Elementary School Principals, according to an Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators press release. The AAESP annually selects a pre-K to 12th-grade teacher who has made a personal contribution or sacrifice that’s resulted in a significant impact on the community for the award.

The award is named in honor of Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung of Newtown, Conn., who gave her life in service to her school community.

Norwood has demonstrated a commitment to servant leadership in her four years as the Young Elementary School principal, according to the press release.

“She has personally taken the initiative to write behavior lessons, mentor students, and provide extension opportunities that enrich the education experience for every student,” according to the AAEA release.

Norwood likewise creates opportunities for families to participate in students’ educational journeys, the release said.

“She created the Dad to Doors program to maintain a strong safety presence at Young Elementary and give students positive male role models,” according to the release.

Norwood said she had an opportunity to look over the nominations made by school and district staff members over the weekend.

“They brought tears to my eyes,” she said. “The things that they said about me were very kind and just reminded me of all the good things that happen—that we do as educators.”

Many district teachers could have very well won the same award, Norwood said.

“I’m grateful to be working here and to have received it this year,” she said.