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Published on August 5th, 2017 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Dr. Akil Ross named finalist for National Principal of the Year

IRMO – Chapin High School principal Dr. Akil Ross has been named one of three finalists for the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)’s 2018 National Principal of the Year (POY) award. Dr. Ross will be recognized at the Principals Institute on September 24-27 in Washington, D.C.

“What an unbelievable honor it is to be named as a finalist for the NASSP’s National Principal of the Year award,” said Ross. “All of the credit goes to my Chapin family. Our staff, students, parents and community. Without them, none of this is possible. I am truly humbled by this.”

As an instructional leader, Ross models best practices and consistently challenges faculty members to grow professionally, as he understands the important link between professional growth and student performance. Under Ross’s leadership, Chapin High School was recognized as a South Carolina Palmetto’s Finest Schools Award recipient in 2015.

Not content with an 82 percent proficiency rate and 92 percent graduation rate, Ross challenged his faculty to aim for 100. The challenge sparked the analysis of trend data to identify students at most risk of dropping out, then soliciting funding for a “school after school” to extend instructional services for those students. Chapin High’s graduation rate now exceeds 96 percent and its proficiency rates continue to climb.

“Each of these extraordinary school leaders has synchronized all the small improvements through the school to make sure they are building toward a large improvement,” stated NASSP executive director JoAnn Bartoletti in a release. “The strides they have made in school improvement are evident in the engagement and success of their students and we honor them for these accomplishments.”

The National Principal of the Year will be announced in October during National Principals Month. The NASSP Principal of the Year program honors state principals of the year from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools and the Department of Defense Education Activity. The award recognizes outstanding middle level and high school principals who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession.

Lexington-Richland School District Five Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hefner was overjoyed when he received the news. “Dr. Ross is an extraordinary leader who has set the highest of standards for students,” Hefner said. “When I needed someone to take the reins of Chapin High School six years ago, I knew Dr. Ross would be the perfect hire. We congratulate Dr. Ross for being named a finalist for the 2018 National Principal of the Year and wish him the best of luck in October!”

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