In today’s connected world, the importance of leveraging technology in education cannot be underestimated. Through the Digital Principals of the Year (DPOY) program, NASSP honors principals who exhibit bold, creative leadership in their drive to harness the potential of new technologies to further learning goals.

With their focus on empowering students, faculty, and staff through the implementation of a variety of technologies, each of the award-winning principals is building culture and leading learning through initiatives that develop supportive learning environments, empower collaborative leadership, encourage global-mindedness, and support innovation.

The 2019 DPOY winners are:

Beth Houf, the proud principal of Fulton Middle School in central Missouri. She is the co-author of Lead Like a PIRATE: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff. Beth also serves as a facilitator for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Leadership Academy, providing monthly training to state educational leaders, and is active in her local, state and national principal associations. In her 11 years as principal, she has worked to implement a technology-infused vision among various stakeholders through initiatives including transforming the teacher evaluation program through technology; implementing FMS Passionate Learning, a digital innovation focused on personalized learning; and utilizing social media platforms to improve communication with parents and model digital citizenship and leadership for students. Beth will also be presenting at the 2019 National Principals Conference, so be sure to register to attend her presentation!
Chris Lehmann, the founding principal and CEO of the Science Leadership Academy, an inquiry-driven, project-based, 1:1 laptop school that is considered to be one of the pioneers of the School 2.0 movement nationally and internationally, and the Science Leadership Academy Schools network, a network of three progressive science and technology schools in Philadelphia. Since the school’s inception in 2006, Chris has focused on fulfilling its vision that technology should be ubiquitous, necessary, and invisible. He has created a Tech Team to manage and maintain the school’s technology, a web portal to allow students to work publicly on school blogs and learning tools, and, overall, an environment that empowers students to leverage technology in new and powerful ways.
Allison Persad, principal of The Young Women’s Leadership School (TYWLS) of Astoria. Allison has spent nearly 20 years as a student, teacher, coach, adjunct professor, and now principal of an all-girls public school in New York City. She is a graduate of St. John’s University Educational Leadership Doctor of Education Program and holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from C.W. Post, as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Queens College. Allison sees her role in implementing a shared technology vision in her school as similar to a motherboard: She offers agency and creative freedom to her teachers, students, and staff. In her tenure at TYWLS of Astoria, she has focused on a mission to ensure that all students have access to computer science, implementing a seven-year Software Engineering Program designed to help students think and solve critical problems in creative ways through the use and understanding of technology. In an effort to empower and educate girls through technology, the school became a 1:1 laptop environment that allows for the incorporation of technology in every course throughout the day.

The 2019 DPOY winners will be recognized at the 2019 National Principals Conference, to be held July 18–20, in Boston.

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