Argyle Middle School Principal Selected as 2022 Shirley Award Recipient

The Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals (MCAAP) selected James Allrich, principal of Argyle Middle School, as the 2022 Dr. Edward Shirley Award recipient. The prestigious award is presented annually by MCAAP to an administrator or supervisor who demonstrates outstanding leadership and accomplishments. 

Allrich has worked for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) for the past 21 years in various roles. He has served as a math teacher, a staff development teacher and administrator. in 2015, he was appointed as principal of Argyle Middle School, a magnet school with over 1000 students and more than 100 staff members. 

MCAAP says Allrich embodies what it means to be a great principal and goes above and beyond for his students and staff every day. 

“He is known as a leader who recognizes and fosters everyone’s potential. He challenges staff and students to grow and learn while also focusing on the overall well-being of the community. He is a fierce advocate for social-emotional instruction, equitable and anti-racist practices, and mental health support for everyone. He communicates with calm and strength during a period of unprecedented challenges,” the association said in a statement.  

Allrich is constantly asking “What is best for students?” and colleagues said he can be heard reminding staff, “If you want to go fast, go alone; If you want to go far, go together.” 

Allrich played a crucial part in enhancing communication with parents through WhatsApp groups in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Vietnamese. More than 200 families participate in these groups and are able to communicate in their preferred language.  

Partnerships are also very important for Allrich. He has joined forces with several organizations that provide resources to students and parents. For instance, together they provide backpacks with supplies for every student at the beginning of the school year, iPads with unlimited data for each student, wellness activities and a new technology lab with cutting-edge technology. 

Allrich’s leadership extends beyond Argyle Middle School. He also serves on the MCAAP Board of Directors as Vice President for the Middle School Chapter and he represents the Middle School Principals Professional Learning Community. In addition, he is part of various district level committees within MCPS. 

MCAAP will honor Allrich at the Summer Leadership Conference on June 23, 2022 and his name will be inscribed on the Shirley Award commemorative plaque which is displayed at the MCAAP office.


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