The Association of Washington School Principals has named Principal Ken Collins League Principal of the year for 2009. Each league in AWSP nominates a Principal for the award, and the Wesco League nominated Collins.
“I was honored, and probably the biggest reason I was honored was [that the] two people who nominated me for the award were really good friends of mine. [One] is the principal of Arlington High School, he and I work a lot together,” said Collins. “And then Superintendent David Burgess also nominated me for the award. To know that my boss respects the work I do is really gratifying.”
Receiving this award means that Collins will be considered for State Principal. If he went on to win that title, he would be considered for National Principal of the year.
Collins considers “juggling all the balls” to be the hardest part of his job. “There’s just so much going on at any given time that you don’t want to let anything drop. You’ve just got to make sure you’re organized and on top of everything and that you do a quality job with everybody’s issues. For everybody who brings an issue to my table, it’s very important to them, and I have to recognize that it’s important to them.”
Collins said that the best part of getting this award is, “just to know that my peers appreciate the work I do and recognize the work I do.”
Collins is no stranger to winning awards. He has earned several district Apple Awards, for either his work in the classroom or as an administrator. Collins has also won the Football Coach of the Year from the Everett Herald twice as well as man of the year in Sports for the Everett Herald in 1994. However, he has never received this type of award before for education leadership.
This is Collin’s 20th year of being on LSHS grounds. Before becoming Principal, Collins taught United States history, honors Contemporary World Issues, and Contemporary American Issues. Collins believes he deserved the award that AWSP has given him.
“Well, I think any principal [who] does a good job deserves recognition. In education, no educator gets enough recognition for the work they do,” said Collins. “I think, probably, the reason I was able to get the award was because I had some people go out of their way to say I needed to be awarded this. And I appreciate this.”
Many of Collins’ staff members also feel the award is well-deserved.
“I have the best principal [to work for],” said Drug Intervention Specialist, Steve Pitkin. “People actually mock me for how good I have it here at this school,” he said.
Collins comes from a long line of educators. Both of his parents are teachers and his uncle was the Chair of the Education Department at Central Washington University. His cousins and older brother are principals as well.
“Education, I guess, is a family tradition,” Collins said.
Award aside, Collins simply enjoys teaching and the opportunity it brings to work with kids.