Serving All Middle Level & High School Administrators

Principals of the Year

The Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) has selected Dr. Gary Jansen, principal of Hazelwood East Middle School in the Hazelwood School District, as the 2015 Missouri Middle School Principal of the Year and Dr. David Sharp, principal at Lee's Summit West High School, as the 2015 Missouri High School Principal of the Year.  MASSP officially presented the awards during the annual MASSP Spring Conference at the Lodge of Four Seasons, Lake Ozark, Mo., on Monday, March 30, 2015.  They were awarded the recognition based on their impact in the areas of collaborative leadership; curriculum, instruction and assessment; and personalization of the learning environment.

MASSP sponsors the High School and Middle School Principal of the Year Programs. Dr. Sharp will represent Missouri in the 2016 National Association of Secondary School Principals’ High School Principal of the Year program.

2015 MASSP Middle School Principal of the Year
Dr. Gary Jansen, Hazelwood East Middle School in the Hazelwood School District

Gary took over the role of principal at Hazelwood East Middle School in the summer of 2010. Upon his arrival, student test scores in English Language Arts, Math and Science were low and many students were reading well below grade level.  Dr. Jansen immediately began making changes in a collaborative, strategic and systematic fashion.  “He began recruiting and hiring highly qualified teachers who are as passionate about serving our students” said Earl Draper,  Assistant Principal at East Middle School.

One of his 8th grade students said, “he has good relationships with his students and teachers, he’s helpful, nice, and he also encourages staff to do better.  He makes it comfortable to learn and teach.  He is also smart and cares about the students’ needs. He spends his time planning fun things at our school for those who behave in the right form and manner.”

Willicia D. Hobbs, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction says, “Dr. Jansen’s natural talents and instincts guide his thoughtful decision making.  He possesses strong and effective communication skills, which have helped to build meaningful relationships with all stakeholders of the East Middle learning community.  Through collaborative efforts, Dr. Jansen has bridged powerful partnerships with community members and families of the children at East Middle School.”  “Dr. Jansen is a leader among his peers.  He took the lead in training his staff, administrators and other middle school principals on an improved method of assessing student growth through student learning objectives.  Dr. Jansen developed the state training module for student learning objectives.  He is a state certified trainer and serves as a facilitator for our district and state level professional development training sessions.”

The selection was made from more than 400 middle school principals from throughout Missouri. Dr. Jansen served an assistant principal at Hazelwood East High School (2002-2004) before he was named associate principal at Hazelwood East High School (2004-2010) and was named principal at Hazelwood East Middle School in 2010.  He received a Masters in Education – Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University (2001), an Administrative Certification from Lindenwood University (2002) and a Doctorate in Education Leadership from Maryville University (2008).
2015 MASSP High School Principal of the Year
Dr. David Sharp, Lee's Summit West High School in the Lee's Summit School District

Dr. Sharp took over the role of principal at Lee’s Summit West High School in 2010.  Lisa McWain wrote… “Lee’s Summit West has always been a school of choice in our district, but four years ago, Dr. Sharp came here, introduced his personal philosophy of continued excellence, and made us a National Blue Ribbon Winner we were last year.  He began by meeting individually with each faculty and staff member, encouraging us to reflect on our strengths and areas to improve – those same skills we encourage in our students.  We formed vision teams, read books together as a faculty, and devised commitments we all uphold; we read them written tall on our walls each day.  He encourages us to be the Titan Family we have become, and  Hashtag TitanStrong means much more to all – faculty and students – than a twitter symbol.”

Dr. David McGehee said, “…I have not witnessed a more diligent effort to meet the needs of staff and students than that of Dr. Sharp.  Whether it was as an Assistant Principal, the Director of the Summit Technology Academy, or in his current role as the Principal of Lee’s Summit West High School; he has always advocated for the meeting of each student’s needs through strong support of a Professional Learning Community philosophy.”

Debbie Katzfey, Assistant Principal at West says, “Dr. Sharp fosters a human connection with students and staff, and seeks to have a positive influence in their lives.  He understands that while achievement is a wonderful outcome, it is not the only goal.  He models a life lived with consistency, and striving for excellence each day.”

The selection was made from more than 500 high school principals from throughout Missouri.  Dr. David Sharp served as Assistant Principal at Lee’s Summit West High School (2004-2006), Director of Summit Technology Academy (2006-2010) and Principal at Lee’s Summit West High School since 2010. He received a Bachelors of Science in Education (1995) from the University of Central Missouri, Masters of Arts in Educational Administration (1999) from the University of Missouri—Kansas City, Educational Specialist (2003) from the University of Missouri—Kansas City and Doctorate of Education in Leadership (2009) from Baker University.
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