Meet NASSP’s 3 Assistant Principal of the Year finalists

The winner will be announced on April 5 joined by National Honor Society Scholarship finalists and state assistant principals of the year.

National Assistant Principals Week is swiftly approaching, and with it comes the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ recognition of its 2024 Assistant Principal of the Year.

This year’s finalists were nominated for their success in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students. Meet the candidates:

Jeffrey Horstman, Mililani Middle School, Mililani, HI

In his fifth year as the school’s assistant principal, Horstman began his work with middle school-level students more than 15 years ago. His journey began as a YMCA youth program director until he found his way into the classroom as an English teacher.

He prioritizes fostering a fun and fulfilling school environment by giving students a voice, strengthening student-teacher relationships and creating a safe and nurturing place to learn.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized as a 2024 National Assistant Principal of the Year finalist,” he said in a news release. “There are so many amazing school leaders in Hawaii and across the nation who share a common vision of providing students with safe and nurturing campuses where learning inspires and empowers them to make positive contributions to our nation and global society.”

Sheri Murphy, Frederick High School, Frederick, MD

Murphy has been the assistant principal of Frederick High School since 2018. Now in her eleventh year with Frederick Couty Public Schools, she continues to advocate for equity and access for all of her students.

Before entering the principalship, she served as a licensed clinical social worker providing school-based mental health services to students in both public and private schools.

“From spearheading initiatives to enhancing student engagement to fostering a culture of equity and inclusivity, my tenure as an assistant principal has been marked by achievements aimed at empowering our students and nurturing their success,” she said.

Courtney Walker, Carrollton High School, Carrollton, GA

Walker is the assistant principal of teaching and learning at Carrollton High School where she oversees master scheduling, remedial and gifted programs, student awards and recognitions, school improvement initiatives and professional development.

She’s assisted in the implementation of professional learning pathways and common course teams which embody her commitment to empowering teachers as leaders and enhancing student outcomes by leveraging data-driven instruction. Additionally, she supports school counselors by developing personalized academic plans that are tailored to students’ interests and their ability to ensure they graduate either enrolled, enlisted or employed and as engaged leaders in their communities.

“I genuinely believe in shared leadership, so this honor is a testament to the collective efforts of the teachers, counselors, administrators and support staff within my school and district,” she said. “Together, we form a cohesive team, engaging in daily collaboration aimed at enhancing our ability to nurture, prepare and empower students to excel as leaders both academically and personally throughout their high school journey and beyond.”

The winner will be announced on April 5 joined by National Honor Society Scholarship finalists and state assistant principals of the year.

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Micah Ward
Micah Ward
Micah Ward is a District Administration staff writer. He recently earned his master’s degree in Journalism at the University of Alabama. He spent his time during graduate school working on his master’s thesis. He’s also a self-taught guitarist who loves playing folk-style music.

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