DTSOI Educator is 2023 Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year

The Arkansas Association of Secondary School Principals has named Don Tyson School of Innovation Assistant Principal Thomas Doppe as the 2023 Assistant Principal of the Year.

Mike HernandezArkansas Association of Educational Administrators executive director, presented Doppe with the award Dec. 11 at a surprise assembly in Don Tyson’s performing arts center.

“Thank you for surprising me,” Doppe said. “This is a special day.”

The Arkansas Association of Secondary School Principals Assistant Principal of the Year award is given annually to an Arkansas secondary assistant principal who’s succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students and has been recognized as exhibiting exceptional leadership skills in the school community, according to an AASSP press release.

Dr. Jared ClevelandSpringdale Public Schools superintendent, said Doppe is an integral part of the district’s team.

“Your excellence has been shown at the Don Tyson School of Innovation, and I can't wait to see what your future holds,” Cleveland told Doppe at the award ceremony. “You're an amazing individual.”

The AAEA scours the state looking for the best assistant principal annually, Hernandez said, noting nominations are received from almost every district in Arkansas.

“Through our competency-based model, Mr. Doppe has created a learning model that allows the students to progress through the material as they learn and not hold back those that are excelling,” said Amy HarrisonDon Tyson School of Innovation principal, in the award nomination.

Don Tyson teachers have high expectations, said Sara Kennard, DTSOI Teacher, in the nomination.

“I truly feel that this is a reflection of the leadership, professionalism and expertise of Mr. Doppe,” Kennard said. “I have been inspired by Mr. Doppe’s commitment to the learning in our school and the level of expertise he possesses as a result of his research. As a teacher, I'm confident in the guidance of Mr. Doppe’s research-based advice.”

Doppe has served as an assistant principal for 13 years, with last five years spent at Don Tyson, according to the release. During his time at the school, the educator has worked to cultivate a safe and positive learning environment and has led the way in implementing a competency-based education model that focuses on student voice, choice and personalized learning.

Doppe expressed his thanks for the award and the dedicated support of Don Tyson’s staff.

“It's the soil for great work,” Doppe said of the school. “We all work together and keep doing amazing things here. It's very easy to be amazing at an amazing place like Don Tyson School of innovation.”

The award ceremony was attended by Doppe’s family, members of the School Board, the district administrative team, as well as Don Tyson students and staff.

VIEW: All event photos here.

VIEW: The event livestream here.

WATCH:  A video tribute to Thomas Doppe here.