Assistant Principal of the Year 2018: Finalists Announced

Every year, NASSP recognizes assistant principals from across the country for their exemplary efforts in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students. The NASSP National Assistant Principal of the Year program (APOY) selects three finalists from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity, and the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools.

We are excited to announce the three finalists for 2018.


Jennifer Hogan
Hoover High School
Hoover, AL

Jennifer Hogan is truly invested in students’ lives. Serving as Hoover High School’s Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Technology in one of the state’s largest and most diverse high schools, she is always going the extra mile to build positive relationships. Despite the school’s large size, it is important to Jennifer that it feels small to staff, students, and parents. She believes that administrators and teachers should take the time to learn students’ stories, and she leads by example. Jennifer is always walking around with a big smile, engaging students in the halls, greeting them when they walk into the lunchroom, and visiting classrooms. Hoover High is a 1:1 school where each student is issued a Chromebook. Across the campus, Jennifer helps teachers and students use technology to extend their learning opportunities. In addition to her investment in students and technology, she also provides limitless hours of professional development to not only staff members, but to countless educators across the state, nationally, and even globally.


Erica Page
Pelion High School
Pelion, SC

Erica Page strongly believes that communication builds trust. She works hard to cultivate positive relationships and make personal connections with teachers and students. She always greets students in the hallways and during lunch, gets to know parents at registration and open houses, and participates in various community events and school competitions. In this rural, blue-collar community with a poverty index above 65 percent, Erica has helped create a positive environment that encourages both students and teachers to attain a high level of performance. Using a growth mindset to set high expectations for students and staff, she has been instrumental in promoting a climate and culture of college and career readiness and citizenship preparedness through research-based practices, while also focusing on continuous academic improvement. Erica creates diverse teams of teachers, support staff, and administrators to find solutions and challenge students at all academic levels. She has been the driving force to provide the best opportunities and set high expectations for every student — from those who are at-risk to those who are preparing for college.


Justin Szews
Lakeland Union High School
Minocqua, WI

As an assistant principal of a school engaged in a constant process of school improvement, Justin Szews has been a leader in efforts to improve school climate, school attendance, educator effectiveness, and graduation rate. During his tenure, Lakeland Union has reduced its discipline referrals and truancy rates, as well as increased the graduation rate dramatically. Taking a family approach to management, Justin really cares about the success of students, teachers, and school. He is deeply involved with students’ lives, and always shows up with a smile. Justin deeply embraces school spirit and treats all employees and students with compassion, dignity, and respect. Justin also plays a role in establishing the vision and goals for technology. His goal is to ensure that the high level of technology accessibility in his building continues and students and staff can safely navigate through the internet. Justin is always willing to roll up his sleeves and work with staff to develop new programs that focus on individualized learning for students.

The APOY Winner will be announced during National Assistant Principals Week this April 9–13, so stay tuned!

The winner and all state Assistant Principals of the Year will be recognized during the 2018 National Principals Conference.

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