Principals in the Clover Park, Bellevue and Spokane school districts were named principals of the year this week by the Association of Washington School Principals.
Principals from Lakewood, Bellevue and Spokane won top honors in this year’s Principal of the Year awards from the Association of Washington School Principals.
The association chooses a winner at the elementary, middle and high-school levels. This year, they are:
- Taj Jensen from Tyee Park Elementary in the Clover Park School District
- Anissa Bereano from Highland Middle School in the Bellevue School District
- Lori Wyborney from John R. Rogers High School in the Spokane School District
Between 2009 and 2014, Jensen helped Tillicum Elementary, where he was principal at the time, rise from a high-poverty, low-performing school into one that won a national award for exceptional student growth in reading. Jensen has been a fifth grade teacher in Steilacoom and an assistant principal in Spokane.
Bereano has been principal at Highland Middle School since 2008, where she has eliminated detentions and overseen a 71 percent reduction in suspensions. Since Bereano arrived, the percentage of students passing the state math test has increased from 56 percent to 70 percent, and those passing the reading test increased from 67 percent to 82 percent. She has also worked as an assistant principal at Tyee Middle School.
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Wyborney, who became principal at Rogers High in 2008, has overseen a big increase in graduation rates — from 60 percent to 82 percent. She also worked as a vice principal at Wahluke High School in 2005, and created a school-wide literacy program for Rogers High.
Of the three, Bereano is now eligible for a national award, the association said. In 2012, Toppenish High School Principal Trevor Greene became the first Washington principal to be named National Principal of the Year.