The Utah Association of Secondary School Principals recognizes that Utah has many great and talented administrators. Each year nomination forms are made available encouraging people to nominate those outstanding Principals and Assistant Principals. After a person is nominated they are sent applications to complete. A committee and the Executive Board interview and select one High School Principal and one Middle School Principal and one Assistant Principal of the Year for Utah.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals only allows for one principal to be nominated from each state. Therefore the UASSP Executive Board Interviews the High School and Middle school winners to determine which one will represent Utah in the National Association of Secondary School Principals competition for National Principal of the Year.
One Assistant Principal is selected each year as Assistant Principal of the Year, alternating between High School and Middle School. The State winner is then entered in the National Assistant Principal of the Year competition sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
Luke Rasmussen, Principal at Ogden High School has been selected by the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals, as the Utah High School Principal of the Year.
Luke earned a bachelor’s degree from Weber State University and a Master’s in Education Curriculum and a Master of Arts in Education Administration from the University of Phoenix. He began his educational career as a Youth in Care instructor in Davis School District and was also a P.E. teacher at Northridge High School. Luke later became Assistant Principal at Northridge, then was named Principal of that school in 2012. Luke became the Principal of Ogden High School in 2016 where he currently serves.
Luke is a hard worker and fast learner. He served as Principal in two high schools and two different districts with very different demographics. Luke says” I believe success in schools starts with creating a positive culture, where respect and trust among staff members, students and the community are imperative to school success”. With his hard work and leadership, Northridge improved their graduation rate to be one of the top in the state. At Ogden High school he has transformed the culture by getting students connected to the school through many programs and providing researched based timely interventions. The school has improved its graduation rate from 77% to 87% over the two years Luke has served as principal. In addition to culture change he realized that they needed a system to track the students toward graduation and to ensure that the right students would receive the right interventions. He implemented a tracking system and bi-quarterly graduation meetings with the counselors and administrators. They check on every student in the school and have a plan for every student who is off track. Luke believes the graduation rate increase is due to comprehensive interventions plans for students as well as a transformed school culture.
Ogden School District Superintendent, Rich Nye said this, “Mr. Rasmussen is an exemplary leader who has transformed the operations, expectations, and culture of Ogden High School. The campus has become one where students, faculty and staff are driven by common purposed to maximize educational, social social, and emotional outcomes. The outcomes under his leadership have resulted in nearly double digit increases in graduation rates, more students across all demographics participating and succeeding in advanced course work and decreases of overall behavior incidents. The common thread of his success has been his ability to build meaningful relationships with students, faculty, colleagues’ parents and the community”.
Natalie Day, the Student Government Advisor, said this about Luke, “I have worked for Mr. Rasmussen for the last two years and there is none I would rather work for. Everyone’s goal is to work for someone that you know has your back and is there 100% to help make you successful in the classroom and in life. That is s perfect description of Mr. Rasmussen. The culture of our school has changed from before he came to what it is now due to his leadership. Our school has become a place where students attend after school activities and take great pride in their school”.
The Utah Association of Secondary School Principals is proud to have Luke represent UASSP as the High School Principal of the Year.
Kalyn Gubler Principal of Lava Ridge Intermediate School has been selected by the Utah Association of secondary School Principals as the Middle School Principal of the Year for 2019.
Kalyn earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Education from Southern Utah University and has a Utah Professional Administrative /Supervisory Certificate. She began her educational career teaching in the Second Grade at East Elementary. She taught college classes at Dixie State College and was an Administrators Assistant before being Vice Principal at Lava Ridge Intermediate School. Kalyn became Principal of Lava Ridge Intermediate School in 2008 and currently serves there.
Kalyn while enjoying the bustle of an intermediate school was shocked, as we all are, with a suicide of one of her students and then tragically followed by another suicide. Kalyn said, “There are no words to express the heartache felt by our school, community and myself”. Because of these incidents she felt a need to create a new culture of awareness in the school and community. She implemented the following changes. and new programs: 1) Master schedule built for Interdisciplinary teams (ITeams) who share common Students. 2) New Mission Statement. 3) RTI for both academics and behaviors implemented. 4) QPR training for faculty and Student leadership. 5) HOPE Squad (student gatekeeper) for those with mental health issues. 6) At-risk Students identified, and home visits made by teachers before school. 7) ITeams meeting weekly for collaboration regarding “OUR” students. 8) Wellness Room to service students with supports when struggling emotionally. 9) School divided into small communities, so students feel connected at school. Kalyn said, “I did not do this alone. It took all of us working together to bring about the culture that is Lava Ridge today. We will continue to “Do what is BEST” for all students.”
Greg Bozarth, Assistant Principal at Lava Ridge, says this about Kalyn, “She is truly a transformational leader who is extremely passionate about doing what is best for ‘her” students and “her” teachers. Her trust in her people gives them the freedom to really stretch, grow and magnify their efforts in ensuring that students learn at high levels. She trusts and loves her people and they trust and love her in return. Her passion, trust and support for “her” teachers and students has built capacity for our Lava Ridge family to grow and what makes Kalyn truly stands out as one of the greats.”
Dr. Robert Sonju, Executive director of Learning for Washington County School District, describes Kalyn this way, “Kalyn is energetic and innovative in her approach to student learning. She has established a tradition of high expectations and outstanding achievement at Lava Ridge Intermediate School. Under her leadership the School is consistently recognized as one of our district and the state’s high achieving schools. This is due in large part to her expectations that “all students will learn at high levels”. Kalyn is extremely professional in all her dealings and is genuinely sympathetic to the needs of the students, teachers and the Lava Ridge Community. Along with this, Kalyn’s energy and outgoing personality, combined with her sincere belief in young people make her second to none as she helps students plan and prepare for future endeavors.
The Utah Association of Secondary School Principals is proud to have Kalyn Gubler represent UASSP as the Middle School Principal of the Year.
Shane Jones, Assistant Principal at Green Canyon High School has ben selected by the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals, as the Utah Assistant Principal of the Year for 2019.
Shane Earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Psychology at Utah State University and his Administration endorsement at Idaho State University. Shane began his career as a counselor at Kimberly High School in Idaho in 1992. He then spent three years as a middle school counselor before being a teacher, coach, Athletic Director and Assistant Principal at Skyview High School and currently is the Assistant Principal at Green Canyon High School.
Shane has been responsible for implementing a freshman transition where all incoming freshman are assigned a least two senior freshman mentors alongside a volunteer teacher. The school has received positive data on attendance, grades and behavior from the freshman class. Shane also is responsible for the oversight of the PACK Hour which is an academic time during our school day where students have access for academic support to every teacher for up to one hour which is recognized by the community as the Flag ship of Green Canyon High School.
David Swenson, Principal of Green Canyon said this about Shane’ “Shane is seen by everyone in our school community as a person who is honest, competent, caring and concerned. I have observed his capacity to inspire students and to assist them in making good decisions that are positive and beneficial. He has an uncanny ability to recognize the needs of others and an unending desire to always respond in appropriate ways. Shane loves his work and shows it in everything he does. Students and parents report Shane really cares about them and their needs”.
Teri Rhoades, Cache County School Board Member said, “It is hard for a student to fall through the cracks at Green Canyon High School, in part to the personal attention of Mr. Jones and other school administrators. As a school board member who believes that all children can learn and be successful at school, if given the chance, the right tools and time. I appreciate Mr. Jones’s abilities and his positive cheerful demeanor. His can-do attitude helps build an atmosphere, where most students are enthused about learning and life. For those students who struggle to be enthused are encouraged and helped by Mr. Jones.
Shane will represent Utah at the National Association of Secondary School Principals, Assistant Principal of the Year Competition. He will attend and be recognized at the NASSP Convention in Boston, MA in July 2019