McNary principal Erik Jespersen, left, student body president-elect Griffen Hubbard and sophomore class president-elect Mariah Benitez shovel dirt at the McNary groundbreaking ceremony on May 17, 2019. (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)
Erik Jespersen, principal of McNary High School in Keizer, is the Oregon 2021 High School Principal of the Year.
Jespersen's peers in the Oregon Association of Secondary School Administrators selected him for the award, which was announced Friday.
Jespersen has been principal at McNary for seven years and was selected for his work to boost the school's graduation rate and keep students engaged over the past year of mostly online classes. During his time leading the school, McNary's graduation rate has increased from 82% in 2014 to 92% in 2020. The graduation rate for special education students has grown from 54% to 83%, and for Latino students from 66% to 93%, the release said.
“I am so proud of Erik for his deserved recognition as Oregon’s high school principal of the year,” said Salem-Keizer Superintendent Christy Perry in a statement. “He sets the vision for his staff and students to actively participate in being part of a world class high school. Especially through the pandemic, he has taken our equity learning and put it into practice by bringing his whole team together to ensure that each student gets the level of support they need to be successful.”
Jespersen will be honored at a June conference for the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators.