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 National Principal of the Year for Secondary Schools

 ~ Tom Dodd ~

  Dr. Tom Dodd was named the 2017 National Principal of the Year for Secondary Schools  in October 2016. This award is sponsored by the the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Tom has served as the principal of Lesher Middle School in the Poudre School District for the past 12 years. He has worked in education for a total of 24 years. Thank you, Tom, for all that you do for Colorado's students! Join us in celebrating this outstanding principal leader!

Where do the great ideas come from in your organization?
The people doing the work. More efficient and effective ways of doing things rarely come from the top down. They more often come from the bottom up. Expertise evolves from experience. We spend way too much time averaging opinions and way too little time letting the people who get it, show us when and how to do it.


What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
A lack of commonly held core values within our micro and macro communities. It’s difficult to engage in an intelligent discussion on any significant topic with the intention of arriving at a positive outcome if the individuals involved don’t share some common fundamental beliefs. As Robert Frost said, “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper, or your self-confidence.”


What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
First, know your why. Second, look in the mirror at who you are, be honest with yourself, and then realize it’s not about you. People respect those who selflessly model character and integrity. They follow those who steadfastly commit to a bigger purpose. Do both.


What are the most important decisions you make as a leader?
To enthusiastically bring my “A” game to school every day. To deliberately serve, advocate, defend, listen, protect, and inspire. To keep contributing, keep learning, keep teaching, and not give up delivering on the promise of a free and appropriate public education for every kid.


Read the full press release announcing Tom Dodd as the 2017 National Principal of the Year for Secondary Schools, as well as other press coverage, here.


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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