Dr. James Whitehead an Assistant Principal at Johnson Junior High in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and he has been named Wyoming's Assistant Principal of the year. The award comes from the Wyoming Association of Secondary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

“I am very honored and humbled by this award," Dr. Whitehead said in a statement. "This award is a tribute to the amazing and wonderful students, staff, parents, and administration of Johnson Junior High. I am in awe of the combined dedication, compassion, and hard work that makes our community such an amazing place to be a part of.”

The assistant principal is among the most crucial and least understood roles in education the NASSP says. "The assistant principal’s role has evolved beyond just traditional student discipline into an important part of the leadership team engaged in instructional leadership and in creating a positive climate."

During Dr. Whitehead’s time as an assistant principal at Johnson, he has been instrumental in systematically organizing the structure of the Professional Learning Communities. With attention and focus on creating systems to support student learning and guide discussions, staff are now focused on the data and how to breakdown potential barriers facing individual students. The work that has been implemented is a direct relation to the work Dr. Whitehead has accomplished through completing his dissertation at the University of Wyoming. Dr. Whitehead has stretched himself even further, for the students and school, by implementing a restorative justice model in Johnson's 8th-grade office in an effort to better remediate behaviors and conflict between both students to student and student to staff according to the NASSP.

Dr. Whitehead will be formally recognized at the 2020 National Principals Conference in July. He will also be considered for the 2020 NASSP National Assistant Principal of the Year.

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