No day is routine for Lee’s Summit West High School Principal David Sharp.
The staff and students there think of themselves as a family, and Sharp’s task is to make it possible for more than 1,800 students to enjoy the educational experience.
Sharp, Missouri’s Principal of the Year for 2015, loves the daily challenge.
“We have 189 people that work here,” Sharp said. “There are 1,895 kids and about 3,000 parents. It’s kind of a small city each day. I usually change directions about every six seconds. How you manage that is a lot of quality relationships and that takes time. It’s a lot of hard work.”
Sharp was named High School Principal of the Year earlier this month by the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals. He will receive the award during the organization’s annual spring conference March 30 at the Lodge of Four Seasons in the Lake of the Ozarks.
Sharp was recognized in the areas of collaborative leadership; curriculum, instruction and assessment; and his personalization of the learning environment.
More than 600 high school principals from throughout the state were eligible for the award.
“I was extremely humbled and honored,” Sharp said.
Lee’s Summit West student Mohammed Rhaimeh spent a brief part of the morning Feb. 25 speaking with Sharp, who served as assistant principal at West from 2004 through 2006 and was the director of Summit Technology Academy before he was named principal four years ago.
The two have a good principal/student relationship that’s evolved through the school year. The recognition from the state is well-deserved, Mohammad said.
“He’s the best principal I’ve ever had in my life,” he said. “He cares about us. He takes care of us. He should have been (principal of the year) a long time ago.”
David McGehee, Lee’s Summit R-7 superintendent, praised Sharp after he was awarded for Sharp’s leadership. McGehee described Lee’s Summit West High School as “a shining star in a high-performing school district.”
“This does not happen by chance,” McGehee said, adding “I believe (Sharp) is a leader of which our entire state can be extremely proud.”
Sharp was quick to credit others for the recognition.
“It’s not about me,” Sharp said. “It’s about everyone in this building.”