The Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) named North County High School's William Heiser the 2013 High School Principal of the Year.
According to an AACPS press release, Heiser and Southern Middle Principal Jason Dykstra will now be considered for national honors by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
Heiser has 15 years of education experience and served as an assistant principal at Annapolis High School before coming to North County in 2010.
In the three years since Heiser came to North County, graduating students went from earning $1.7 million in scholarships to $10.8 million, according to AACPS. Participation in the SAT also increased from 29 percent to 68 percent, and the number of Advanced Placement exams administered has tripled.
“I am truly humbled by this award,” said Heiser. “It is a sincere privilege to serve the students, parents, teachers, and community of North County. This award recognizes all of our hard work and shared commitment to achieving greatness."
Heiser is also credited with spearheading partnerships between the school and local businesses and community organizations.
“Excellent principals today rely on networks of colleagues to assist them in keeping pace with ever changing reform agendas,” said MASSP Executive Scott Pfeifer in a release. “Bill Heiser and Jason Dykstra are great examples of school leaders whose involvement in MASSP has enabled them to create schools where students get personal attention, rigor is the norm, and teachers participate in a culture of collaboration to promote student learning.”
Dykstra has spent more than 20 years in education and worked in Anne Arundel County since 2003.
During his time at Southern Middle, Dykstra has overseen a dramatic rise in the school’s scores on the Maryland School Assessment, according to a release. The percentage of sixth-graders, for instance, scoring proficient or advanced has risen 54 points in math and 45 points in reading during that time. In seventh- and eighth-grade math, the increases have been 60 and 51 points, respectively.
“It is an honor to represent the middle school principals in Maryland, and I am very proud of the work our teachers and students have done at Southern Middle School,” said Dykstra in a release. “Schools continue to raise the bar for our students and I feel very fortunate to work with an amazing group of professionals as we continue to meet the challenges ahead of us.”