|Forest Grove assistant principal Fitzpatrick earns top honor|
Longtime educator Jerry Fitzpatrick, assistant principal at Forest Grove High School, has been selected as the 2009 Oregon Assistant Principal of the Year. His experience as an assistant principal spans 30 years—the past 20 have been at Forest Grove.
With a student population of over 1,900, this suburban school received the MetLife/NASSP Breakthrough Schools Award in 2008. In that same year, FGHS received the Model School Award, given by the International Center for Educational Leadership. As the assistant principal in charge of curriculum and instruction, Fitzpatrick led the school's Smaller Learning Communities grant application process five years ago. As a result, the school was awarded $500,000 to support school improvement efforts. Through his collaborative leadership skills, he has been involved in the creation of six career pathway academies in the following areas: Arts & Communications, Business, Health Services, Human Resources, Industrial/Engineering and National Resources. He was also involved in the creation of the Reading Workshop and Math Workshop, which are required elective classes to help accelerate student growth in those areas where needed.
The results of Forest Grove's efforts are impressive. Six years ago, 50 percent of students passed the state reading assessment; last year, 81 percent passed. The results in math are similar: six years ago, 45% of students passed; last year, 79 percent passed. In 2001-02, the FGHS graduation rate was 67 percent, and last year it was 84 percent. Forest Grove a high percentage of minority students, and 43 percent of FGHS students receive free and reduced lunch.
Perhaps even more significant has been the shift in how students feel about their school. As a result of the school's efforts to personalize education with each student, 84 percent of the nearly 2,000 students agreed with the statement, “I feel connected and that I belong at Forest Grove High School,” and 88 percent agreed that, “My teachers support and encourage me to do my best in school.” As further proof of their success, the FGHS dropout rate went from 7.7 percent six years ago, to 3.1 percent for the last two years.
Fitzpatrick will be honored at the Assistant Principal’s Conference March 8-9 at the Embassy Suites in Tigard, and again at the Annual COSA Conference in June. As the state winner, he will be in consideration for National Assistant Principal of the Year. In April, he will attend a State and National Assistant Principal Forum and Awards dinner in Washington D.C, sponsored by NASSP and Virco.
|This page was last updated on Tuesday, January 06, 2009 .|