Muriel Summers (’79 A.B.Ed.) has been awarded the Ralph Kimel Award from the N.C. Principals and Assistant Principals Association, the association’s highest honor.
Summers has served since 1998 as principal at A.B. Combs Leadership Magnet Elementary School in Raleigh where she created the first leadership elementary school in the nation, modeled after Franklin Covey’s “7 Habits” program.
Summers was honored by the School of Education in 2017 with its Distinguished Leadership Award.
Summers has co-authored a book about her work at Combs, “The Leader in Me,” describing a model that has been adopted by more than 3,000 schools in 50 countries around the world. By adopting the “Leader in Me” program, schools seek to help students develop cooperative relationships, a sense of responsibility, kindness and good judgment.
Combs was named the top magnet school in the nation in 2006 and 2014 by Magnet Schools of America. With the 2014 recognition, Combs became the first school to be named the top magnet school for a second time.
That same year, Summers was awarded the William B. Friday Medal of Honor, one of the highest honors given to North Carolina educators. She also was named the 2016-17 Principal of the Year for Wake County Public Schools.
The Ralph Kimel Award was established in 1995 to honor the founding member of NCPAPA. It is given annually to a retired educator who has made a lasting contribution to the profession and to the NCPAPA.