Assistant Principal of the Year

General InformationAward Recipients
The Assistant Principal of the Year Program, sponsored annually by the Connecticut Association of Schools and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, was established in 1990 to bring recognition to the assistant principalship and to spotlight the critical role that assistant principals play in the education of our youth. The program recognizes outstanding school assistant principals who have succeeded in providing high quality learning opportunities for students. These administrators have demonstrated excellent leadership commitment to staff and students, service to their communities, and contributions to the overall profession of educational leadership.

Each year nominations are solicited for an Elementary, Middle Level, and High School Assistant Principal of the Year. The winners are chosen by the CAS Awards and Recognition Committee, a selection committee consisting of active and retired principals and assistant principals. The selections are made in December.

Either the middle or high school honoree will be recognized nationally by NASSP and will represent Connecticut in the competition for National Assistant Principal of the Year, sponsored by NASSP and Virco, Inc. (NASSP does not include elementary schools.) From the 52 state winners, three finalists are selected and become eligible to be named the National Assistant Principal of the Year. The national winner receives a $5,000 award from Virco. For additional information about the National Assistant Principal of the Year Award, please visit


Candidates should demonstrate success in the following areas:

Collaborative Leadership

  • Involves teachers, staff members, parents, students, and the community in achieving the goals of the school
  • Provides direction or focus to achieve the school’s goals as a member of the school’s leadership team
  • Models continuous professional growth
  • Teaches, coaches, and assists others in professional development that focuses on student learning
  • Balances management tasks with instructional leadership tasks
  • Utilizes effective problem-solving techniques

Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

  • Improves teaching and learning by implementing programs and improvement efforts
  • Observes, supervises, and evaluates teachers and instructional programs to maximize the learning opportunities for every student
  • Analyzes multiple sources of data to improve instructional practices and outcomes
  • Demonstrates knowledge of learning, teaching, research, and programs that maximize student performance
  • Facilitates in developing and maintaining cocurricular programs that complement the curriculum while fostering students’ academic success
  • Contributes to make certain all students have access to challenging courses and support mechanisms
  • Leads in the use of available technology for management and delivery of instruction as well as the advancement of adaptation of learning, invention, and creativity.


  • Assists in establishing and maintaining a positive school climate that reflects high student and staff morale
  • Interacts professionally and tactfully with others
  • Assists in creating structures that enable teachers to develop an appreciation for each student’s abilities
  • Acknowledges achievement or accomplishments of students and teachers
  • Communicates effectively orally and in writing
  • Models values, beliefs, and attitudes that inspire others to higher levels of performance
  • Assists in developing and maintaining dialogue with representatives of diverse community groups
  • Leads in the use of available technology to meet the unique learning needs of each student.

All candidates must work in a CAS member school and have at least three years experience as an assistant principal (or the equivalent thereof).

To apply contact, kpacktoratcasciacdotorg  (kpacktoratcasciacdotorg)  .

1991 Thomas Martin, Jr. Windsor High School (National & State)
1992 Sal Saitta East High School (National & State)
1993 Howard Lohr Plainfield High School
1994 Sal Randazzo South Windsor High School
1995 Arthur Sajecki Tolland High School
1996 Kay Costa Windsor High School
1997 Dennis Nogiec Canton High School
1998 David Maloney Branford High School
1999 Robert Westervelt Weston High School
2000 Gary Field New Canaan High School
2001 Anne Jarvis Glastonbury High School
2002 Walter Zalski Simsbury High School
2003 Larry Nocera Glastonbury High School
2004 Sally Biggs South Windsor High School
2005 Laura Ferrante Fernandes Masuk High School, Monroe
2006 Donna Hayward Rocky Hill High School
2007 Donna Russo Darien High School
2008 Andre Hauser Coginchaug Regional High School, Durham
2009 Tim Salem Danbury High School
2010 Jeffrey Provost East Lyme High School
2011 Michelle Marion East Hartford High School
2012 Tiffany Violette Caouette South Windsor High School
2013 Julio Duarte Conard High School, West Hartford
2014 Joseph Blake Suffield High School
2015 Karyn Morgan Staples High School, Westport
2016 Stephen Merlino Coventry High School
2017 Christopher Koch Bunnell High School, Stratford
2018 Joseph Masi Northwestern Regional High School, Winsted
2019 Dana Paredes West Haven High School, West Haven
1993 Carl Ohlin JF Kennedy Middle School, Enfield (National & State)
1996 Richard Tariff Vernon Center Middle School
1997 Jeff Cryan Mansfield Middle School
1999 Jody Goeler Sedgwick Middle School, W. Hartford
2000 None
2001 David Pearson Timothy Edwards Middle School, South Windsor
2002 Rochelle Schwartz Northeast Middle School, Bristol
2004 Brian Czapla Smith Middle School, Glastonbury
2005 Donald Friedman Lincoln Middle School, Meriden
2006 Anthony Carrano Old Lyme Middle School
2007 Jill Hale Polson Middle School, Madison
2008 None
2009 Candace Morell Mansfield Middle School
2010 Jacquelyn Gilmore North End Middle School, Waterbury
2011 Susan Muirhead Mabelle Avery Middle School, Somers
2012 Vicenta Gibbons Amity Middle School, Orange
2013 Christopher Palmieri DePaolo Middle School, Southington
2014 Albert Sackey Western Middle School, Greenwich
2015 Dr. Krista Bauchman Irving A. Robbins Middle School, Farmington
2016 David Caruso East Hartford Middle School
2017 Ernie DiStasi Seymour Middle School
2018 Darlene Wallin John Read Middle School, Redding (Region 9)
2019 Dina Marks Shelton Intermediate School
2002 Laura Russo Celantano School, New Haven
2003 Helen Byus Roaring Brook School, Avon
2004 Diane DiPietro Highland School, Cheshire
2005 None
2006 None
2007 Donna Cullen Maloney Interdistrict Magnet School, Waterbury
2008 Amy Clarke Clarence Rogers and Katherine Brennan Schools, New Haven
2009 None
2010 Michelle Zeuschner Andover Elementary School
2011 Cindy Smith Nayaug Elementary School, Glastonbury
2012 Bridgette Gordon-Hickey Regional Cultural Magnet School, New London
2014 Elizabeth Messler Coleytown Elementary School, Westport
2015 Sherrod McNeill John G. Prendergast School, Ansonia
2016 None
2017 Lori DiBlasi Franklin and Wilcoxson Elementary Schools, Stratford
2018 Joseph Macrino Lewin G. Joel School, Clinton
2019 Eric Conrad Chapel Street School, Stratford