February 28, 2011
Linda Farmer, APR | Director of
Association of Washington School Principals
O: 360.357.7951 | C: 253.232.2891
Port Angeles Leader Earns State Middle Level
Principal of the Year
Chuck Lisk ‘leads, guides, pushes,
instructs and motivates’ his way to success
an obstacle. Any obstacle. Chances are it wouldn’t derail Stevens
Middle School Principal Chuck Lisk. Declining enrollment? Check.
Devastating budget cuts? Check. MSP scores well below state standards?
Check. Teacher reductions, increased class size, closure of a middle
school? Check, check, check.
Lisk, the 2011 Washington State Middle Level Principal of the Year,
met every challenge head on. He guided teachers, staff and students
through a process to boost test scores and saw major increases in 2005
and 2007. He partnered with Microsoft to study outstanding schools for
best practices that could be applied at home. He turned the spotlight on
staff development and built time for observation, feedback and
collaboration into an already overcrowded workday.
His perseverance paid off. MSP scores are now well above state
standards. And in 2009 the Office of Superintendent of Public
Instruction gave Stevens Middle School the Washington Achievement Award
for Overall Excellence. Stevens again earned the award in 2010 with an
added special recognition in science.
Lisk was named this year’s Middle Level Principal of the Year
by the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP). A panel of
principals representing the Association of Washington Middle Level
Principals, a component of AWSP, selected Lisk from seven regional
Lisk, who has served as principal of Stevens Middle School (Port
Angeles School District) for 14 years, says he didn’t do it alone.
“It is my job to lead, guide, instruct, push, support and
motivate, but it is the Stevens community that makes a difference for
Don Rash, AWSP’s Director of Middle Level Programs, describes
Lisk as one of the most unassuming people he’s ever met.
“He’s in the background, but I tell you, he’s a master
at blending all the components of a school community to bring about
“We are very
pleased Principal Chuck Lisk has been selected by AWSP as the Washington
State Middle Level Principal of the Year for 2011,” said
Superintendent of Port Angeles Schools Jane Pryne. “He has worked
extremely hard on behalf of his students, staff and colleagues. We are
very proud of his accomplishments, and this is truly an honor he has
received and deserves.”
Lisk was honored today at a school assembly. (The
Peninsula Daily News covered the
event.) In October, he will be honored with the
elementary and high school principals of the year at AWSP’s Annual
2011 Principals’ Conference. Lisk earned both his bachelor’s
and master’s degrees in education from Central Washington
Other components that earned Lisk the honor of 2011 Middle School
Principal of the Year include:
- Established an eight-period block schedule to increase student
learning time while simultaneously implementing a weekly one-hour late
start for staff professional development.
- After six months of study, engineered the re-structuring of Stevens
Middle School in 2007 from three grades to two.
- Even with additional budget cuts, opened the “new”
school with the eight-period instructional block intact. Core teachers
share students allowing for 270 minutes of uninterrupted instructional
time, a common team collaboration period and individual planning
- Shepherded the development of teams into small learning communities
where teachers took leadership roles, enriched curriculum and increased
communication with parents while building stronger relationships with
- Ensured widespread student participation by providing opportunities
for leadership training and a voice in school activities. The ASB with
10 officers and a designated leadership class of 30 guide and implement
85 percent of the assemblies, after-school programs, school activities,
fundraisers and even select the annual theme of the school.
- Used every available resource to get help for struggling students
including AmeriCorps volunteers, parent volunteers, reading specialists,
daily homework club, Thursday School (which extends the school day until
6 p.m. for students with missing assignments) and student tutors to help
with academic skills.
Honored at the National Level
Later this year, Lisk will travel to Washington, D.C., to represent
Washington state at the national level. There, he will be recognized
with other state principals of the year at an awards banquet hosted by
the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and
Each state, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense
Education Activity and the Department of State’s Overseas Schools
will send one middle level and one high school principal to the national
level to compete for the 2012 MetLife/NASSP National Principals of the
Year award. From the state winners, six finalists (three middle level,
three high school) will be eligible for the award. The program honors
principals who have demonstrated excellence in these areas:
collaborative leadership; personalization; and curriculum, instruction
and assessment. For more information on the National MetLife/NASSP
Principal of the Year program, visit www.principals.org.
About the Association of Washington School Principals
The Association of Washington School Principals is a professional
association serving principals, assistant principals and principals in
training. Formed in 1972, the association now includes more than 3,400
members from public and private elementary, middle and high schools
statewide. It is governed by a board of practicing principals drawn from
three grade-specific boards representing the elementary, middle and high
school levels. For more information, visit www.awsp.org.
Linda Farmer, APR | Director of Communications | O: 360.357.7951 |
C: 360.915.4118 | firstname.lastname@example.org