Winner to be revealed during NASSP’s Assistant Principal Week April 9-13, 2018.

Reston, VA – The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) has announced the names of three exceptional assistant principals from across the United States as finalists for NASSP’s 2018 National Assistant Principal of the Year.

Jennifer Hogan, Hoover High School, Hoover, AL (@Jennifer_Hogan)

Jennifer Hogan deeply invests 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 always goes 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 facilitates limitless hours of professional development both to staff members and to countless educators across the state as co-moderator of the weekly #ALedchat on Twitter.

Erica Page, Pelion High School, Pelion, SC (@PelionPanthers)

Erica Page lives the belief 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 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.

Justin Szews, Lakeland Union High School, Minocqua, WI (@LakelandUnion)

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 significantly. Taking a family approach to management, Justin internalizes 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 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 work of these three leaders reminds us that when you invest in leadership, you invest in learning,” said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti, “and their achievements show us how important increased student engagement is to improving student performance. We are honored to recognize these individuals for their commitment to their students, school, and profession.”

The 2018 National Assistant Principal of the Year will be announced in April 2018 duringNational Assistant Principals Week and formally recognized during the 2018 National Principals Conference in Chicago, July 11-13.

About the NASSP National Assistant Principal of the Year

The NASSP National Assistant Principal of the Year (APOY) program annually recognizes outstanding middle level and high school assistant principals who have made exemplary contributions to their profession and to their students’ learning. 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 selects one assistant principal to represent their state. Of these, three finalists are named as contenders for the award, with one being recognized as the NASSP National Assistant Principal of the Year.

For more information on the APOY program, please visit


The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for 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.