Excellence in Romanian education awarded at the 2021 Principals’ Awards Gala

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 26/11/2021 | 18:47

School principals from Romania have been awarded for the exceptional education transformation projects they have been involved in at the 2021 Principals Awards Gala. In this edition, the awards were won by four educational leaders from Iași, Tecuci, Târgu Măgurele and Pașcani. The Principal of the Year 2021 is Mihaela Romanescu, principal at the “Grigore Moisil” Theoretical High School of Computer Science in Iași, a distinction presented by the President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis.


This year’s award-winning school principals have demonstrated exceptional leadership, management and strategic qualities through projects with visible results in their school communities. The awards they received are for Equal Opportunities, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, as well as the Principal of the Year 2021 award.

“We are honoured that every year we identify and award school principals who are involved and contribute to the continuous development of education in Romania. These leaders must be supported in their endeavours precisely because they are an important pillar of the communities they belong to and have the ability to drive the progress of the Romanian education system. This is why we are gathering a significant community around them, leaders from business, public administration and the non-profit sector to provide them with the resources they need to make possible these important advances for Romanian communities”, said Silvia Herman, Programme Director at AVE Romania.


Principal of the Year 2021, outstanding educational leader, awarded by the President of Romania

In a year marked by trials and tribulations, the event brought into the spotlight Romanian school principals who, through their commitment, have achieved exceptional results and performance. Thus, the Principal of the Year 2021 award was presented to Mihaela Romanescu, principal at the “Grigore Moisil” Theoretical High School of Computer Science in Iasi. She, together with her team of teachers, has published 3 modern pedagogical guides including teaching examples this school year and has run 7 projects with funding from the European Commission. Through these projects she has set up a virtual reality lab in the school, so the team of teachers has created VR lessons for STEM subjects and supported students in developing language, entrepreneurial or mathematical skills. It has also developed a project on 3D printing and one on the use of drone technology in the classroom. The high school’s team of teachers created more than 40 educational software packages in almost all subjects.

“The job of a school principal is to make a difference in the lives of students, fellow teachers and the educational community to which they belong. Leading and teaching is a challenge that requires a high level of understanding and patience, ownership, openness to knowledge and a strong set of values. A good principal has a people-centred approach, responsibility towards students and the community, integrity in decision-making and objectivity, has a moral conduct, emphasising honesty, fairness and respect, is informed by reliable sources and combats misinformation in the educational community he or she leads”, said Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania.

Watch the Principal of the Year 2021 video story here.


The exceptional principals who bring progress to Romanian schools

The Principal of the Year Award for Entrepreneurship was won this year by Adriana Lefter, principal at the “Elena Doamna” Secondary School in Tecuci, which attracted €150,000 in funding through six Erasmus projects. Through them, more than 20 teachers and 40 students participated in international Erasmus mobilities and more than 300 students participated in two online mobilities. The projects aim to develop digital, language and STEM skills. Adriana Lefter is also an eTwinning Ambassador at national and international level and has become a Scientix Ambassador in Romania for STEM activities. Elena Doamna Secondary School also received the “Creator of Education” Award in the STEM Discovery Week 2020 Campaign.

Video footage from the 2021 Principal of Entrepreneurship community can be watched here


The Principal of the Year for Innovation award was given to Cătălin Condrea, principal of the Special Secondary School in Pașcani, whose work focuses on the design of learning processes and who has implemented an interassistance project through which more than 40% of the school’s teachers develop educational and therapeutic skills for children with special needs, and 30 parents are involved in the parenting process to better understand the needs of their children. Furthermore, Cătălin Condrea has designed assessment grids through which he monitors the results of all students in the school and uses the data in the educational and therapeutic approach. For children with disabilities, he has developed a therapeutic programme involving 12 groups of students with severe disabilities and 3 groups of children with moderate disabilities.

The video report about the Principal of the Year 2021 for Innovation can be watched here


The Principal of the Year Award for Equal Opportunities is won by Adrian Emanuel Silimon, principal at the Secondary School No.4 in Turnu Măgurele, for having provided equal educational opportunities to a group of 60 pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and dropouts in the school year 2020-2021, with the support of the Royal Margareta Foundation of Romania. They passed at the end of 2020-2021 and 200 children with special educational needs were given the chance for quality education. Moreover, the averages of secondary school students in Romanian language and mathematics have increased by 1-2 points, and students enrolled in primary school have mastered reading and writing skills, as well as mathematical calculation.

The video report from the 2021 Equal Opportunities Principal community can be watched here


The winning principals of the Gala will receive 5,000 euros each for the continuation of the projects started in their school, a guaranteed place in the School Leadership and Management Academy organised by the Association for Values in Education, training and consultancy for them and the teachers in their teams for the 2021 – 2022 school year, as well as access vouchers to digital catalogues worth 2,000 euros for a school, offered by Adservio.

The Principals of the Year Awards Gala is an annual event organised by the Association for Values in Education to support and reward school principals who stand out through extraordinary work and help transform education in Romania, starting with their own communities. The full video of the Gala can be viewed on the AVE YouTube channel.

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Mihai-Alexandru Cristea | 19/12/2022 | 18:45

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