Stanley High School principal Kevin Hoherz was named the state principal of the year by the North Dakota Association of Secondary School Principals. He is also in competition for the national principal of the year award. The award is given as part of the MetLifeNational Association of Secondary School Principals principal recognition program.
The High School Principal of the Year program annually recognizes outstanding school leaders who have succeeded in providing quality learning opportunities for students. The honorees are selected based on their willingness to apply collaborative leadership techniques, improve teaching and learning through successful application of curriculum, instruction and assessment practices, and personalization of the learning experience for students, staff and community.
Hoherz, who has been principal at Stanley High for the last eight years, said this is a huge honor but he could not be so successful without his excellent staff, who have helped manage the huge changes the school district has undergone due to the ongoing oil boom.
Hoherz said the school district has nearly doubled in enrollment during the past three years, going from 325 students in K-12 three years ago to 600 in K-12 this school year.
Students new to the district come from all over the country and, in some cases, from other countries. The district has an anti-bullying program in place to help current students welcome the new students.
In response to some of the ongoing challenges, Hoherz and others in the district have launched programs that help encourage student success.
The district has a laptop initiative that has allowed classrooms to become virtually paperless. For instance, the school's At Risk program helps students who are not eligible for special education services and don't have Individual Education Plans but are still in need of academic help. A former paraprofessional in the district has become the school district's At Risk coordinator and students who need help can work with student and adult mentors during their study halls. Hoherz said that program is improving student grades and test scores in many instances.
The school district also started a new credit recovery system to help students new to the district meet high school graduation requirements and has started a weekly ACT practice time for a class period to help kids get ready to take the ACT and improve their chances of being eligible for a state scholarship. The district also offers dual credit classes for high school students.
A new school addition was recently completed and has given students and teachers some much needed extra space, said Hoherz.
Hoherz began his career as a teacher in Mott and became principal at Mott High School in 2003. He was hired as the principal at Stanley High in 2006. He is active in numerous professional organizations and in his church and is a coach for the summer youth baseball and softball programs.
Hoherz will attend a fall symposium in Washington, D.C., where he and other state principals of the year get a chance to learn from one another and other national leaders in education. In March 2014 Hoherz, along with the other principals of the year, will be recognized at the 2014 National Association of Secondary School Principals Annual Conference, which will be held in Washington.