Current Principals of the Year

Dr. Joey N. Jones from Robert Frost Middle School
2020 Middle School Principal of the Year

 

Serving as a dedicated and inspiring educator for over 25 years, Dr. Joey N. Jones believes students are at the heart of education. Dr. Jones has been a technology education teacher, curriculum writer, high school assistant principal, and SAT prep teacher. Also, he has trained and/or mentored over 15 administrators. Currently, Dr. Jones is the principal of Robert Frost Middle School, with an enrollment of over 1085 students. Frost is a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in Montgomery County, Maryland. Dr. Jones constantly reminds students, “You are some of the best students on the planet.” He believes leaders are always doing one of two things—getting better or getting behind. Dr. Jones and his staff choose to get better, as they provide a rigorous, world-class education in a supportive, equitable, and caring learning environment.

Under Dr. Jones’s leadership, Frost MS provides diverse learning experiences in and out of the classroom. Frost MS has a partnership with Beijing No. 5 Middle School in Beijing, China; sponsors a culturally-rich trip to Canada; a STEM trip to California; and hosts dynamic guest speakers to inspire students to dream BIG! “Success is everybody’s responsibility,” is a Frost core value. Thus, Dr. Jones collaborates and builds relationships with students, staff, parents, and community to make Frost MS, uniquely better for each student who enters its doors.

Dr. Jones earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in industrial arts/technology education from North Carolina A&T State University. Awarded an academic fellowship to attend the University of Maryland at College Park, he earned a Ph.D. degree in Public School Administration and Supervision. Dr. Jones is also the author of 100 Percent, The Power of Giving Your All, an Amazon Best-Selling, motivational book.

Dr. Jones is happily married to Kinta C. Jones, an elementary school special education teacher. They have three talented, teen-aged girls. Dr. Jones values family, church, and community. He and his wife have a passion for the development and success of people, particularly youth.

 

Nick Novak from Howard High School
2020 High School Principal of the Year

 

 

Nick Novak is in his 18th year as an educator with the Howard County Public School System. He started his career as an English teacher at River Hill High School and taught for six years before making the move to administration. Nick has worked at River Hill and Glenelg High Schools as an assistant principal and River Hill and Howard High Schools as a principal. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and History from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Maryland, and a certificate in Administration from McDaniel College.

During his career, Nick has been an active member of both the Howard County Administrators Association (HCAA) and the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP). He is currently the president of HCAA and just completed a three year term as NASSP Coordinator for Maryland. As a school administrator, Nick is a champion for collaborative leadership, student voice, and shared vision. These values are captured in the hashtag the Howard High community used to highlight the launch of the new mission and vision statements--#OurHoward. Under his leadership, Howard staff has moved to a school improvement model where all staff participate in the planning and implementation of school improvement initiatives. School improvement is everyone’s responsibility because this is #OurHoward.

Nick lives in Howard County with his wife, Jenny, and son, Justin. When he’s not “principaling,” he enjoys reading, going to the movies, and attending his son’s sporting events.

Nick Novak is in his 18th year as an educator with the Howard County Public School System. He started his career as an English teacher at River Hill High School and taught for six years before making the move to administration. Nick has worked at River Hill and Glenelg High Schools as an assistant principal and River Hill and Howard High Schools as a principal. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and History from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Maryland, and a certificate in Administration from McDaniel College.

During his career, Nick has been an active member of both the Howard County Administrators Association (HCAA) and the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP). He is currently the president of HCAA and just completed a three year term as NASSP Coordinator for Maryland. As a school administrator, Nick is a champion for collaborative leadership, student voice, and shared vision. These values are captured in the hashtag the Howard High community used to highlight the launch of the new mission and vision statements--#OurHoward. Under his leadership, Howard staff has moved to a school improvement model where all staff participate in the planning and implementation of school improvement initiatives. School improvement is everyone’s responsibility because this is #OurHoward.

Nick lives in Howard County with his wife, Jenny, and son, Justin. When he’s not “principaling,” he enjoys reading, going to the movies, and attending his son’s sporting events.

 

                 

 

 

Catherine Sutton, from Calvert High School has been named MASSP's 2020 Maryland Assistant Principal of the Year.  Dr. Daniel D. Curry, Superintendent, said, “She is a change maker at Calvert High and a very creative problem solver. We are so proud of her.”  A graduate of Patuxent High School, Ms. Sutton began her career teaching English at Huntingtown High School, where she taught until she was hired as the assistant principal at Calvert Middle School.  She then assumed that same posiiton at Calvert High School.  Dr. Steve Lucas, principal of Calvert High, said, “Ms. Sutton is a champion for every child. She is always thinking of others. She is a tireless leader, a devoted mother of four, and a super role model for everyone in our community. I can think of no better leader with whom I have worked to be recognized as the MASSP Assistant Principal of the Year.”

Ms. Sutton balances the daily tasks of administration with quality instructional leadership. Since her time as a core lead, she has successfully facilitated professional development and team planning, always with the goal of improving student learning. Most recently, she initiated a peer coaching model among the staff and created a climate in which teachers feel confident to collaborate and learn from one another. Mrs. Sutton's greatest goal is to empower her students to become advocates for change in the world. To that end, as a new administrator at Calvert High, she supported the MAC scholars, a mentorship organization with an academic focus for African American males. Among other activities, she coordinated visits to feeder middle schools so that the high schoolers could inspire younger students to strive for success. Two years ago, Ms. Sutton attended a Teach to Lead conference with a team from Calvert High and became convinced of the benefits of proportional scheduling. 

During the 2018-2019 school year, Ms. Sutton began a “Believe in You” student advisory program. Continuing with that program this year, she meets regularly with student leaders, who then develop and deliver monthly mini-lessons to their peers, with a goal of helping them see life’s challenges as a platform to rise to the next level. She works with students to view the school as a community, not as small pockets of groups.  Under her guidance, the number of student leaders involved in the program doubled this year.

Several years ago Ms. Sutton initiated and continues to coordinate a four-day Freshman Bootcamp for a group of incoming ninth graders. She also developed a freshman orientation day with pep rally spirit to help students feel excited and comfortable on their first day at Calvert High.  Ms. Sutton’s work is not confined to the walls of the school building. She organized the first back-to-school neighborhood block party for students and their families to celebrate the start of the year and meet school staff. She plans to make it an annual event, with the party held in a different area each year. She also initiated the Cavalier Scholars to recognize first-time AP students and students who earned a high score on the Maryland assessment. She found sponsors, had signs printed, and traveled the region to place Calvalier Scholar signs in students’ front yards. 

Ms. Sutton earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she is currently enrolled in a Doctoral program, and her Master’s degree at McDaniel College. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in the field of English Language Arts.