2021 Digital Principals of the Year
Digital Principal of the Year (DPOY) Award recipients are honored for integrating digital media in their efforts to improve instruction, student achievement, and their own leadership.
Huntley High School
Principal Marcus Belin’s vision for Huntley High School is to help students become problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and engaged citizens who connect with the world, compete globally, and better our society. Huntley High’s blended learning program, ranked No. 1 in the country by Study.com, enables students to choose the time and place for their own learning. The school’s use of technology to advance equity and excellence has resulted in a competency-based education pilot program that blends in-person and online learning. Belin is proud to have overseen three years of this innovative program, which enables students to creatively master competencies in four core subject areas.
Spring Hill Middle School
Spring Hill, KS
When the pandemic hit, Spring Hill Middle School Principal Trevor Goertzen and his staff quickly pivoted to online instruction to meet students’ learning needs. Working within professional learning communities, educators prioritized standards and focused on core competencies. Goertzen drew on his deep reserves of both this past year to ensure that the Spring Hill community stayed positive during tough times.
Kelso Virtual Academy
In the spring of 2020, Principal Cindy Sholtys-Cromwell was hired to lead Kelso Virtual Academy. To meet the needs of the community during the pandemic, she was immediately tasked with expanding it to a K–12 school. By August, enrollment went from 30 students to over 1,000. With this growth, Sholtys-Cromwell and her team had to quickly design a plan to meet the vast learning needs of its students, particularly for those with IEPs. She worked directly with special education staff and intervention specialists on professional development to ensure access to and modification of the online curriculum.