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.

2018 National Assistant Principal of the Year finalists

Jennifer Hogan
Hoover High School
Hoover, AL

Hoover High School has almost 3,000 students. It takes positive relationships to maintain a positive and personalized environment in our large school. One of my mantras is that every student should have at least one “go-to” adult in the school. In one beginning-of-the-year activity I led, I created large posters that contained all of the returning 10th-12th grade students’ pictures and names. I hung these in the conference room and teachers identified students with whom they had a positive relationship. Any students who were not identified were placed on a spreadsheet and the sheet was sent to teachers. Teachers were asked to review their rosters for the year and “adopt” a student for the year. We want all students to have a sense of belonging and know that they are cared for, and this activity helped our staff ensure that all students had an advocate.

Erica Page
Pelion High School
Pelion, SC

I love leading at a school that prepares tomorrow’s leaders by creating a culture of collaboration, distributed accountability, and increasing expectations and opportunities for our students. My goal is to personalize the high school experience for all students, from at-risk to AP, by providing equitable learning opportunities that lead each graduate to college acceptance and career readiness. By working with higher educational institutions and bringing college to our campus through dual-enrollment courses, we have narrowed the opportunity gap for students who would not have attended college. By sharing leadership responsibilities, I foster growth, unity, and commitment to our mission. This ownership of our shared goals creates a dynamic collaboration that ensures student success.

Justin Szews
Lakeland Union High School
Minocqua, WI

In 2012, Lakeland Union High School’s student absenteeism rate was 23.2 percent. This rate was nearly double the state goal for student absenteeism. In an effort to address the issue, the district’s administration and school board appointed me to lead the development and implementation of a plan to improve attendance and decrease the absenteeism rate at LUHS. This plan involved an analysis of our locality’s court system. Our students reside in three separate court jurisdictions. Truancy court and the commensurate attendance interventions looked very different in all three courts. In an effort to achieve consistency for all students, we developed a Truancy Task Force. This team was, and still is, comprised of school personnel, social workers, law enforcement, county attorneys, and judges representing all three jurisdictions that our students reside in. Due largely to the collaborative efforts of the Truancy Task Force, Lakeland Union High School’s absenteeism rate has dropped to 6.98 percent currently.