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Aqila Malpass Named Alabama Assistant Principal of the Year

HCS- We are so pleased to announce that Rocky Ridge Elementary School Assistant Principal, Mrs. Aqila Malpass has been named Assistant Principal of the Year by the Alabama Association of Elementary School Administrators.

Malpass is in her fourth year as Assistant Principal at Rocky Ridge Elementary School and has been an educator for 17 years.

Before coming to Rocky Ridge Elementary, she was the math coach at Shades Mountain Elementary School. Malpass is a Howard University graduate and is currently working on her doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Rocky Ridge Elementary School Principal, Dr. Dilhani Uswatte, describes Malpass as a “beacon of inspiration.” Like all administrators, she wears a variety of hats on a daily basis but puts a great focus on being an instructional leader.

Malpass currently oversees the school’s instructional leadership team assessing current practices and looking for ways to improve. Malpass’s efforts helped the school earn International STEM accreditation and jump six percentage points in the school’s grade on the Alabama State Report Card over the last few years.

She also forged a new program called Families as Partners in Education, which plays a tremendous role in supporting parents, especially during the challenges provided by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Malpass’s leadership, she has helped the school grow both socially and emotionally. One of the ways she has done that was through the creation of the “Hallway of Diversity,” which is an area in the school filled with objects to celebrate diversity.

In the fall of 2020, two Rocky Ridge Elementary students lost their lives in a car accident. To honor these two gentle and loving students, Malpass created the “Pure Goodness Club.” The mission of the club is to make the world a better place through kind thoughts, words and actions. This club played a vital role in healing a grieving school and community.

“Mrs. Malpass has to be one of the most incredible educators I know on this planet,” Principal Dilhani Uswatte said. “She inspires and motivates so many people from students to teachers, to parents. She truly is a beacon of inspiration for all of us.”

For Malpass, this is a tremendous honor since it is a recognition of a passion that runs deep for her. Each day she passes through the doors of Rocky Ridge Elementary, she enters with a great deal of pride and joy. She is committed to making everyone their own success story, and by learning and getting better each day, that is how becoming a success story happens.

“I am always trying to learn something new and get better at something,” Malpass said. “It is a public acknowledgment of the pride and joy that I have on a daily basis, whether I am working on something pleasant or unpleasant. This represents the manifestation of how much I love what I do.”
Please help us congratulate Mrs. Aqila Malpass, a truly remarkable educator.

Rocky Ridge Elementary School Assistant Principal Mrs. Aqila Malpass