2016 NASSP National Assistant Principal of the Year

Holly Ripley

West Fargo High School
West Fargo, ND

Ripley has helped lead the 1,400-student school through the challenges of frequent principal turnover and 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 System of Supports 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.

“Mrs. Ripley is passionate about each of her students and works directly with teachers and families to provide support and resources whenever possible,” said West Fargo Principal Jennifer Fremstad. “Her relationships with students are professional, encouraging, and respectful. They trust that they can count on Mrs. Ripley to provide support, to provide expectations, and to help them meet their goals while in school in addition to their post-secondary goals.”