As part of the 48th Annual CASE Convention, CASE will be celebrating a few of its outstanding 2016-17 members, including our National and Departmental Award Winners. We hope you'll join us in celebrating them!


2017 CASSP Rookie of the Year Award
~ Bill Summers ~

  Bill Summers serves as the principal of Canon City High School in Canon City RE-1. He is celebrating his first year as a principal. Thank you, Bill, for all that you do for Colorado's students!  Join us in celebrating this outstanding principal leader!

How long have you served in your current position and how long have you worked in education?
he 2016-17 school year was my first year as a principal. Before that year, I was an ELA teacher at the same school since 2012-13, which is also when I entered the education career field. I am further a 23-year veteran of the United States Air Force.


Where do the great ideas come from in your organization?
From staff and students. The reorganization of our school’s committees into multi-disciplined PLCs sparked creative solutions to tough problems. We additionally included students to our Building Leadership Team, creating a culture of shared accountability for the school’s future—their input is responsible for some of the most significant change in the district. Next up will be to create an environment where parents and community feel appreciated when they share their ideas.


What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

It’s about empowering those around you to go beyond criticism—most of us have a PHD in that endeavor—and transform negative words, however thoughtful, into positive outcomes for the benefit of all. Moreover, because actions take effort and leadership is about modelling, be prepared to work hard.


What books are you currently reading or have you recently finished?
I have the good fortune that my wife belongs to an amazing book club made up of local women. I end up reading much of what they read. Currently, I am half way through Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. Professionally, I’m reading Rethinking High School by Daniels, Bizar, and Zemelman. Though this book hit the scene in 2001, it is both reaffirming and inspirational for anyone willing to make a change from traditional education.


Nominees for this award will be accepted in spring 2018. To learn more about the CASSP department, contact


The Colorado Association of School Executives ( is the preeminent professional association for public school administrators in Colorado. The organization’s mission is to empower Colorado education leaders through advocacy, professional learning and networking to deliver on the promise of public education.

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