BGHS Principal Receives Honor For Northeast Missouri
April M. Fronick • Editor
Darin Powell says it is an honor to be recognized as the MASSP Northeast District Principal of the Year and is quick to turn the praise over to the teachers and students at Bowling Green High School.
Powell was recently nominated by other principals in the region to receive the honor from the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals.
“It is a compliment for what the teachers and students do here,” Powell said. “It is definitely an honor to be nominated and selected by my peers.”
Powell was one of eight principals selected for the honor. One of those recipients will receive the state award. Superintendent Mike Gray said he is hopeful Powell’s efforts in three years at BGHS will be rewarded with the honor.
“He has done an outstanding job. He is a great leader,” Gray remarked. “Every decision he makes is made in the best interest of students.”
From the day Powell arrived on the job in 2008 he has worked to improve student achievement. The building has steadily moved forward with advances in software, technology, data analysis and improved communication. The advances are evident in improved student performance.
“Doing what is best for student learning is our goal and everyone plays a role in that,” Powell said. “Our dropout rate is down and our graduation rates and ACT scores are up along with the percentage of kids who attend college or enter the military. We want our kids to be as prepared as possible for life after high school.”
Gray noted it is the collaborative approach to leadership that Powell takes that has helped make the building successful. In a letter of recommendation for the state award, Gray pointed out Powell has developed an elected staff leadership team which reviews data, evaluates current conditions, helps consider future directions. Powell also meets with student leadership, making sure students have a voice in their education at Bowling Green.
Powell admitted that it takes everyone working together, despite disagreements along the way.
“It’s less like a staff and more like a family. We have disagreements about how to get there, but we all want what’s best for kids,” Powell commented. “We’re not satisfied with the status quo. It makes it easy to come to work knowing that.”
Powell identified some of the best additions and programs over the past three years.
-CAT Teams – Students meet with the same teacher and can work everything from tutoring to college readiness depending on what is appropriate for that student.
– HOT (Homework On Time) Emails – There is constant communication regarding missing assignments so students have every opportunity to become proficient in every course they take at BGHS.
-Anywhere Learning System (ALS) Software – The software is utilized to assist every student from the lowest-functioning to the most gifted in the core areas of math and reading, which can also be used for other classes. Teachers use the software for instruction and credit recovery.
-A+ Program – Students who maintain a 2.5 GPA, have 50 hours of tutoring, have at least 95 percent attendance and no record of violations with drugs, alcohol or discipline are eligible to attend a community college or technical school within the state with tuition paid. Students who might otherwise have missed out on the opportunity for higher education are afforded opportunities through this program.
Powell pointed out there are many goals for the future that he and his staff are constantly working on. One goal is better communication with parents and the public. The school has started to utilize email and text messaging to a greater degree. The school also has more than 90 percent of parents using the Parent Link system which allows parents to constantly check their students’ grades, attendance, lunch count, etc. Powell is also working with staff members to further extend technology throughout the school. The goal is to one day have a 1-1 ratio with students and computers to help close the gap between students with greater/lesser needs.
In his letter of recommendation for the state award, Gray lauded Powell’s vision for the future at BGHS, his knowledge of curriculum and instruction, his leadership skills and his willingness to work hard.
Powell admitted the award would be a tremendous honor, but noted his focus is on the task at hand.
“We want to make sure every freshman who enters Bowling Green High School, leaves ready for the future.”
Powell has been in education since 1990. Prior to his tenure at BGHS, Powell served as a math teacher and coach at Hannibal High School before becoming the assistant principal there in 1998 and then principal in 2001. He holds a master’s degree in education as well as a Specialist’s Degree in Education Administration.