Each year, NASSP recognizes outstanding principals as State Principals of the Year. From that pool of winners, we select finalists who are eligible to become the National Principal of the Year.
The accomplishments of these principals are always impressive, and the three 2016 NASSP National Principal of the Year finalists are no exception. They truly serve as an example of just how influential a principal can be.
Patricia Fry (@pshsprincipal), principal of Plymouth South High School in Plymouth, MA, reported for duty 10 years ago to find that behavioral issues were prevalent, the school’s accreditation was at risk, the building was overcrowded by approximately 400 students, and the failure/dropout rate was a major concern. By empowering teachers and encouraging consistency, Fry was able to decrease inappropriate student behaviors and make academics a priority. Making college and career readiness a key goal, she also created an incentive program to encourage students to take AP classes—which resulted in the program’s significant growth and Plymouth being selected as an AP Honor Roll district in 2014.
Kyle Hoehner (@kylehoehner), principal of Lexington High School in Lexington, NE, has created a culture of high expectations in a diverse school where language issues, cultural variances, and prevalent poverty present a variety of challenges. Lexington students are aligned with at least one adult advocate who monitors their daily academic, athletic, and social wellbeing. This plus the school’s Destination Graduation program has led to a 10 percent increase in the graduation rate in just three years. Thanks to the warm learning environment created under Hoehner’s leadership, students feel valued and honor the school’s values of respect, responsibility, honesty, and compassion.
Alan Tenreiro (@alantenreiro), principal of Cumberland High School in Cumberland, RI, has helped his school see increases in academic achievement, graduation rates, and the number of students gaining admission to some of the best colleges and universities in the country. Under his leadership, Cumberland has doubled its Advanced Placement class offerings and expanded their STEM courses to include pre-engineering, robotics, and a biotechnology pathway. Working with a dedicated faculty and staff, Tenreiro has built a safe, positive, respectful, and supportive culture that fosters student responsibility for learning and results in shared ownership, pride, and high expectations for all.
The three finalists will be recognized during the NASSP Principals Institute this September 15–18 in Washington, D.C., alongside the 2015 state principals of the year.
The finalists will be interviewed by a panel of judges on September 15 and the 2016 national winner will be announced during National Principals Month in October.