The search for the National Assistant Principal of the Year begins every fall as each state principal’s association selects its State Assistant Principals of the Year. From this pool of state award winners, a panel of judges selects three finalists.
2016 National Assistant Principal of the Year finalists
Jenks High School
David Beiler is assistant principal at Jenks High School in Jenks, OK, a school with 2,400 students in grades 10-12, and a 97% graduation rate. A former math teacher, Beiler leads the Jenks Math and Science Center and STEM activities, and he recently led the development of the student advisory program at Jenks to ensure a personalized environment for each student. More recently, Beiler helped lead the creation of a “continuous improvement team,” which gathers a team of teachers regularly to advance the school improvement efforts at Jenks. All of these efforts are driven by, in the words of one student, an attitude of “respect and care and a desire to see each person succeed and prosper.”
Camden High School
Lesley Corner is assistant principal at the 1,000-student Camden High School in Camden, SC, which currently is seeing the highest standardized test scores in the school’s history. The success is due in part to Corner’s leadership in creating the “high school 101” curriculum, in which core-subject teachers emphasize skills essential to success in high school and beyond. Corner led the infusion of backwards design at Camden, complete with a professional development regimen for teachers. That professional development includes having teachers observe one another and collaborate regularly. As a 1:1 laptop school, Camden relies heavily on Corner’s leadership both in guidance and an example for the effective use of technology to empower students to lead their own learning.
West Fargo High School
West Fargo, ND
Holly Ripley is assistant principal at the 1,400-student West Fargo High School in West Fargo, ND, where she has helped lead through the challenges of rapid principal turnover and of sudden growth due to North Dakota’s booming oil economy. She is known among students as someone who will challenge them now so they are skilled to succeed both during and after high school. Ripley provides that challenge by maintaining a laser-like focus on performance data, and she led the creation of a customized Multi-Tiered Systems of Support model to catch struggling students early and assist them appropriately. Yet, Ripley’s intervention goes well beyond the academic. Deeply pained by the death of five students in a single school year—two to suicide—Ripley became certified as a Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) trainer and teachers highly value the guidance she provides.