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 Colorado Principal of the Year for Secondary Schools

~ Eric Rauschkolb ~

  Eric Rauschkolb was named the 2017 Colorado Principal of the Year for Secondary Schools in April 2017. This award is sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Eric has served as the principal of Niwot High School in St. Vrain Valley School District for three years. He has worked in education for 19 years. Thank you, Eric, for all that you do for Colorado students! Join us in celebrating this outstanding principal leader!

What is one characteristic that every leader should possess?
Leaders in education should have two characteristics: Be Student-Centered and Be Courageous. It is human nature for us to want what is best for us individually. It takes a courageous leader to continually be willing to look for what is best for kids, even if that may be an unpopular sentiment among some.


What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
Be yourself, remember why you got into education, and have fun. I’ve seen too many leaders diminish their effectiveness by forgetting one or more of those axioms. Conversely, the most effective leaders that I’ve been around in education embody all three of those.


What are the most important decisions you make as a school or district leader?
The two most important decisions I make are who to hire and how to handle tough situations. There is no more important decision that I make when I’m able to select a qualified, engaging, student-centered, and fun teacher for my students. Secondly, remembering that in every tough situation there is a silver lining and, if handled well, a teachable moment.


Who has had a major impact on you as a leader, and why?
Bill Honko was a very respected and successful high school principal in Ohio for over 20 years. He and I had breakfast every other week for close to 10 years, and he taught me what it took to be a man of faith in public education, how to keep a positive attitude through all circumstances, how to be student-centered, and how to develop a vision that improved the experience of all stakeholders.


Read the full press release announcing Eric Rauschkolb as the 2017 Colorado Principal of the Year for Secondary Schools here. Nominees for this award will be accepted in winter 2017.


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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