Reston, VA—The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) announced today that Marcus Belin of Huntley High School in Huntley, IL; Trevor Goertzen of Spring Hill Middle School in Spring Hill, KS; and Cindy Sholtys-Cromwell of Kelso Virtual Academy in Kelso, WA, are being recognized as the 2021 NASSP Digital Principals of the Year (DPOY). Each year, the DPOY program honors outstanding principals who go above and beyond in their work using technology to support teaching and learning, bolster student achievement, and enhance their own leadership. 

“We are proud to recognize Marcus Belin, Trevor Goertzen, and Cindy Sholtys-Cromwell as the 2021 NASSP Digital Principals of the Year,” said NASSP CEO Ronn Nozoe. “The education landscape shifted dramatically this past year, with principals everywhere embracing innovation and technology to adapt to their changing circumstances. These three principals successfully supported their students and staff members through innovative solutions, and their schools greatly benefited from their leadership, which is needed now more than ever.”  

Marcus Belin has spent the past three years overseeing an innovative blended online and in-person learning program at Huntley High School, where students are supported in becoming problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and engaged citizens who connect with the world. This program, which enables students to choose the time and place for their own learning, is a competency-based pilot that allows them to creatively master competencies in four core subject areas. Just as important, Belin has also prioritized social-emotional learning, with online lessons covering topics such as mental health issues, sexual abuse, and anxiety.  

When the pandemic hit, Trevor Goertzen and his staff quickly pivoted to online instruction. Known as an energetic and passionate leader, Goertzen ensured that the Spring Hill Middle School community stayed positive during tough times. One hurdle he helped the school overcome was students’ math achievement. By collaborating with teachers, Goertzen led the school in successfully implementing an online program to provide more targeted instruction.  

Cindy Sholtys-Cromwell, hired at the start of the pandemic, was tasked with helping her community respond to the crisis and expanding Kelso Virtual Academy to a K–12 school. She hit the ground running to address the needs of all her students, especially those with IEPs. She made sure all students had Chromebooks and internet access from the very first day of school, not only for meeting their academic needs but for accessing information about community resources such as free meals. Sholtys-Cromwell and her staff have worked tirelessly to keep students engaged in their learning and ensure they have what they need to succeed.  

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The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of middle level and high school principals and other school leaders across the United States. NASSP seeks to transform education through school leadership, recognizing that the fulfillment of each student’s potential relies on great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor SocietyNational Junior Honor SocietyNational Elementary Honor Society, and National Student Council.