Please join us in congratulating Holly Ripley.

Ripley, assistant principal of West Fargo High School in West Fargo, ND, has been named the 2016 NASSP National Assistant Principal of the Year. Surrounded by fellow administrators and other education leaders from around the country, Ripley was honored with the designation at NASSP’s national conference, Ignite ‘16, during the NASSP 100th anniversary luncheon.

Every year, this recognition is given to a middle level or high school assistant principal who has demonstrated schoolwide curriculum success and exhibited expert leadership within their school and in their profession. NASSP names the award recipient after a months-long process, which begins in the fall when each NASSP-affiliated state principals association submits their State Assistant Principal of the Year. Candidates then pass through and are narrowed down during three stages with three separate groups of judges. The last group of judges selected Ripley from a finalist pool of three applicants.

Ripley_photoThroughout her six years at West Fargo, Ripley has displayed her superb professional abilities in a variety of areas. During North Dakota’s booming oil economy, in which Ripley’s school district of 9,000 students has grown by around 500 a year for the last six years, West Fargo High has managed not to fall behind. Ripley has successfully helped lead the 1,400-student school through frequent principal turnovers (four principals in six years) along with sudden growth, and maintained a thriving and stable school environment for students and staff.

She also skillfully incorporates performance data and analytics into her leadership and led the creation of a customized Multi-Tiered System of Supports model to identify and help struggling students early. And because of her commitment to providing grieving and troubled students with the needed emotional and academic support, Ripley has become certified as a Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) trainer. Additionally, she has been an integral part of a cultural shift at her school from “teacher-centered” to a more student-centered environment.

The two other national award finalists, David Beiler of Oklahoma and Lesley Corner of South Carolina, plus the state winners were also given special mentions during the conference.

To see what’s happening at Ignite ’16, visit And for more information on the NASSP National Assistant Principal of the Year program, go to

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