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As part of National Principals Month, CASE is pleased to highlight a few of our outstanding principal members. As studies show, principal leadership is second only to strong instruction when it comes to impacting student achievement, so please join us this month in recognizing the hard work and dedication of principal-leaders from across the state. To learn more about National Principals Month, click here. As you're celebrating this month, remember to #ThankAPrincipal!


#ThankAPrincipal - Dr. Tom Dodd
2017 National Secondary School Principal of the Year


Dr. Tom Dodd is the 2017 National Secondary School Principal of the Year. He was named the 2016 Coiorado High School Principal of the Year last spring by the Colorado Association of Secondary School Principals and CASE. He serves the community of Lesher Middle School in the Poudre School District as their principal. Thank you, Tom, for all that you do!  Join us in celebrating this incredible principal leader! Read the press release, here. #ThankAPrincipal


How long have you served in your current position? In education?
I’ve served as the principal of Lesher Middle School for the past 11 years. I’ve worked in education at the middle school, high school, and university levels for 23 years.


What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
Integrity. Do what you say you’re going to do. Follow through. Respect and value the needs of others. Be honest and share all the information you have. No non-discussables. Own your stuff. Don’t put an excuse where an apology should be.


Who has had a major impact on you as a leader, and why?
Roy Shifflet, Social Studies Teacher and Coach at Mifflinburg Area High School in Mifflinburg, PA. I student-taught with Roy, and he solidified my desire to teach and coach. Rodger Jehlicka, Head Wrestling Coach and Athletic Director at Adams State University. He hired me as his assistant coach and brought me to Colorado. Ivan Kershner, Principal of Eagle Valley High School. He encouraged me to become his assistant principal. Gary Bamford, Poudre School District administrator and principal. Gary mentored me my first two years as a building principal. Each of these men took a chance on me, listened, and told me what I needed to hear.


What is your favorite destination in Colorado?
The Redstone Inn, where my wonderful wife and I held our wedding reception 15 years ago. We continue to visit every year with the kids.


What is your proudest moment or accomplishment as a school leader?
I am most proud of the people I’ve hired, supported, and retained. The quality that sets our school apart from the average school is the level of dedication to our collective mission.


  Click here to download and share this image to celebrate Tom and his accomplishments!


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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