Reston, VA — The National Association of Principals (NASSP) named Misa Sato, assistant principal at Reagan High School in Milwaukee, WI, the 2023 National Assistant Principal of the Year (APOY) for boosting her students’ academic achievement and inspiring and training her students to serve in the next generation of educators.

Under Sato’s guidance, Reagan High School has experienced remarkable progress in student achievement. The school earned the Wisconsin Response to Intervention Center Gold Award in Reading, Behavior and Math in 2021 and 2022, and students consistently outperform their peers statewide on key measures. Additionally, Sato’s leadership has grown the school’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Career Program, with enrollment increasing from seven to 155. The program now offers pathways in health science, technology and education. Sato also collaborates with the IB to provide professional development and support programs at other schools. Sato started an initiative helping her students pursue teaching and now has two alumni on staff. Sato holds an MA in Educational Policy and Leadership from Marquette University and an MBA in Education Leadership from Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Mike Roemer, principal of Reagan High School, who accepted the award on Sato’s behalf, said: “Misa’s work with the International Baccalaureate Career Programme has been nothing short of outstanding. She has been a driving force in ensuring our students receive a high-quality education that prepares them for success in a global context. From 2014 to 2022, the CP program grew from a cohort of thirteen students to one hundred and fifty students within Reagan High School. Most recently, Misa has added an education pathway to CP, hoping to create a pipeline to future educators.”

“This award is a well-deserved recognition of Ms. Sato’s exemplary work as an administrator within the district,” said Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Keith P. Posley. “Her work over the years is grounded in high standards, one that benefits students from high school and beyond.”

“Assistant principals are leading some of the most critical and innovative programming in schools, and Misa embodies these efforts,” said NASSP CEO Ronn Nozoe. “She has directly tackled the educator shortage by building career-related programming in her school and community that prepares her students to become educators, thus building a pipeline of future teachers. Reagan High is lucky to have her, and we’re grateful to have dedicated leaders like Misa that bring their passion and drive in service of their community.”

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 may select 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.

The announcement is part of NASSP’s Trailblazing Leadership Week, bringing together the 2022 State Principals and Assistant Principals of the Year and the National Honor Society Scholarship finalists to celebrate their accomplishments and connect with one another.

Photos available upon request.