School & District Management

Missouri School Leader Named Principal of the Year by Secondary School Principals’ Group

By Denisa R. Superville — October 06, 2021 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Missouri middle school principal Beth Houf has been selected as this year’s 2022 National Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

The award, which was announced in a virtual ceremony on Tuesday, is conferred annually to a middle or secondary school principal who works to “advance their profession and provide top-quality learning opportunities for their students,” according to the Virginia-based organization.

Houf, the first principal from Missouri to win the NASSP’s award, leads Fulton Middle School, a 550-student school in the Fulton 58 district, about 24 miles north of Jefferson City, the state’s capital. She also served as principal of the district’s McIntire Elementary School, before moving to Fulton Middle School in 2015.

Houf is a published author—she co-authored the 2017 book Lead Like a Pirate: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff— and has a large Twitter following.

‘The best job ever’

Houf, who was cheered on by staff at the school at the surprise announcement, said principals had “the best job, ever,” and that she was honored by the recognition.

“I love what I do, and I love who I get to serve every day,” she said.

Beth Houf, principal of Fulton Middle School, Fulton, Mo.

Houf acknowledged the tough year that school leaders had amid the pandemic and took a moment to recognize principals and teachers who’ve soldiered on through the crisis and the changes in brought to K-12.

“For all those principals that are joining in, thank you for what you do,” she said. “For all the teachers that are joining in, too, thank you so much for what you do.”

When Houf started at Fulton Middle School, “the culture was toxic, and trust was low,” Ronn Nozoe, the NASSP’s CEO, said during the ceremony. The school was also not meeting students’ needs, he said.

Houf put an emphasis on building a collaborative culture and working with staff on professional learning communities to strengthen curriculum, assessments, and interventions.

To foster a culture of trust with students, staff, and the community, Houf developed an advisory period for students, with an emphasis on empathy and empowerment, and implemented training in restorative practices and trauma-informed teaching. Discipline referrals dropped by 40 percent as a result of those efforts, Nozoe said.

During the pandemic, Houf and her team also had check-ins with families and online surveys so that families could share their needs with the school.

The two other finalists for the NASSP’s 2022 Principal of the Year Award were Keith Ball, principal of Marietta High School in Marietta, Ga., and Ted McCarthy, principal of Sutton High School in Sutton, Mass.

Finalists are chosen from the principals of the year on the state level.

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Assessment Webinar
The State of Assessment in K-12 Education
What is the impact of assessment on K-12 education? What does that mean for administrators, teachers and most importantly—students?
Content provided by Instructure
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Proven Strategies to Improve Reading Scores
In this webinar, education and reading expert Stacy Hurst will provide a look at some of the biggest issues facing curriculum coordinators, administrators, and teachers working in reading education today. You will: Learn how schools
Content provided by Reading Horizons

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Opinion If You Can’t Maintain an Initiative, Maybe You Shouldn’t Do It
Schools are often really good at finding new initiatives to implement but aren't always good at maintaining. Here's a model to consider.
5 min read
Screen Shot 2022 01 21 at 7.57.56 AM
Shutterstock
School & District Management Schools Are Desperate for Substitutes and Getting Creative
Now in the substitute-teacher pool: parents, college students, and the National Guard.
10 min read
Zackery Kimball, a substitute teacher at Bailey Middle School, works with two classes of students at the school's theater hall on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, in Las Vegas. Many schools have vacant teaching and/or support staff jobs and no available substitutes to cover day-to-day absences.
Zackery Kimball, a substitute teacher at Bailey Middle School in Las Vegas, works with two classes of students at the school's theater hall on a Friday in December 2021.
Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP
School & District Management 3 Ways School Districts Can Ease the Pain of Supply Chain Chaos
Have a risk management plan, pay attention to what's happening up the supply chain, and be adaptable when necessary.
3 min read
Cargo Ship - Supply Chain with products such as classroom chairs, milk, paper products, and electronics
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Vulnerable Students, Districts at Greater Risk as Natural Disasters Grow More Frequent
New federal research indicates the harm from fires and storms to school facilities, learning, and mental health is disproportionate.
4 min read
Helina Thorp, right, 14, expresses frustration while unsuccessfully trying to log in to her school distance-learning classes in Placerville, Calif., after Pacific Gas & Electric intentionally shut off power to prevent wildfires amid high winds in September 2020.
Helina Thorp, right, 14, expresses frustration while unsuccessfully trying to log in to her school distance-learning classes in Placerville, Calif., after Pacific Gas & Electric shut off power to prevent wildfires amid high winds in September 2020.
Daniel Kim/The Sacramento Bee via AP