Michelle Hendrix Nora

Michelle Hendrix-Nora, principal of McNeel Intermediate School in Beloit, is seen outside the school in this file photo. She has been named the recipients of the Rock County YWCA Racial Justice Award. An awards ceremony is set for Jan. 16.

JANESVILLE—Michelle Hendrix-Nora, principal of the School District of Beloit’s McNeel Intermediate School, is the 2021 recipient of the YWCA Racial Justice Award.

The Racial Justice Award recognizes an individual who actively strives to eliminate racism and promotes racial equality. Individuals nominated demonstrate leadership and service to others. Recipients are nominated by members of the community. Some of Hendrix-Nora’s most recent accomplishments include:

In 2018, responding to data showing alarming African American achievement and behavior disparities, she helped create the Lancer H.E.A.R.T.S (Helping Educate At-Risk Teenage Students) mentoring program.

Through professional development, she, helps staff understand culturally relevant teaching practices. Her nominators say it helped the entire staff to seek to expand their understanding of the effects of systemic racism on students’ education.

Hendrix-Nora, administration and staff leadership collaborated to develop beliefs, mission, vision, and values that keep equity at the forefront.

Michelle Hendrix-Nora received two nominations for the YWCA Racial Justice Award. One of the nominators, Suzette Nunez, works with Hendrix-Nora on the Leadership and Equity Teams of McNeel Intermediate School.

“Obstacles become fuel for her passion,” wrote Nunez in the nomination . “She willingly and without complaint pushes not only herself forward, but brings others into the fold to accelerate change. She intentionally cultivates an inclusive culture. Students, families, and staff alike admire Mrs. Hendrix-Nora because she makes it known she is on their side and cares deeply for them.”

Hendrix-Nora will be honored during the annual MLK Commemoration. This virtual event will premier at noon on Jan. 16 via YWCA Rock County’s Facebook page.