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Posted on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 9:30 a.m.

Dexter's Craig McCalla named principal of the year

By Danielle Arndt

A Dexter elementary school principal was named a 2012 Principal of the Year.

Craig McCalla, principal at Cornerstone Elementary School, was selected from all of the elementary and middle school building leaders in Washtenaw, Livingston and Monroe counties.


Principal Craig McCalla reads to students at Cornerstone Elementary School. The Dexter building leader recently was recognized by his peers in a three-county region as Principal of the Year.


Region 2 of the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association awarded McCalla the honor earlier this month. Dexter Superintendent Mary Marshall said this is McCalla’s seventh year at Cornerstone.

“Craig is a phenomenal elementary school principal,” Marshall told “So much so that every child that goes through his building will remember him for a lifetime. He has that kind of an impact.”

She said every morning McCalla greets each child by name.

“His ability to remember them all (the names) is uncanny. He really makes personal connections with them,” she said.

But what really makes McCalla so great is not only is he kind and compassionate with children, but he’s the type of empowering leader that everyone respects, Marshall added.

In the Dexter Leader, McCalla attributed his success to the staff and parents at Cornerstone, as well as his wife. McCalla’s wife, Kathryn, is a teacher at Beach Middle School in Chelsea, and she was named Teacher of the Year in March by the Michigan Association of Middle School Educators, Region 2, according to the newspaper article.

Read the Dexter Leader’s story on Craig McCalla here.

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at


Steve Napolitan

Sat, Dec 22, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

Many of the comments will focus on Mr. McCalla the great principal and leader. He is also a wonderful caring person...and there are many instances that display his compassion, but one really stands out. The morning after the Dexter tornado, Craig was walking through the devastated neighborhoods checking on all his students, past and present, seeing how he could help and giving out hugs to each and every child that needed one. His presence amidst massive destruction meant so much to many many kids, and parents alike.

Laura Jones

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 : 3:13 a.m.

No one deserves this honor more. Year after year he has made a huge positive impact on the lives of kids in Dexter. Wonderful man who runs a great school and manages to be well liked and respected at the same time. The board ought to be looking at him for the vacant Superintendents job.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 10:12 p.m.

Well deserved. Dexter Schools needs to reward and recognize Craig for doing the oustanding work he does! Hope Craig will stay with Dexter Schools for a long time to come. Craig McCalla is a huge asset to our community.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 5:48 p.m.

Great school, great kids, wonderful principal. Oh, don't forget about the involved parents.


Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 5:06 p.m.

Congratulations, Mr. McCalla. After all the recent sordid wickedness, it's nice to know something good this way comes to Dexter, finally.