A Colorado middle school principal has been chosen as the 2017 National Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
Thomas Dodd has been the principal of the 750-student Lesher Middle School in the Poudre district in Fort Collins for the past 11 years.
The NASSP said it was impressed with Dodd’s focus on equity and his success in changing the school climate at Lesher. The association highlighted his “Anchor Down” school motto, which emphasizes the role of teachers as stabilizing forces and as advocates for all students. Dodd also expanded the rigorous International Baccalaureate program to include the entire school.
Under his leadership, Lester landed on the MetLife Foundation-NASSP Breakthrough Schools list in 2012. It honors high-achieving middle schools that serve large numbers of students in poverty.
A version of this article appeared in the October 26, 2016 edition of Education Week as Colorado Educator Named Principal of the Year