Once again an Aurora Public Schools' principal has been named Colorado Principal of the Year by the Colorado Association of School Executives. Dalton Elementary Principal Dianne Dugan earned the honor in 2006.
Stecklein has been with APS since 1983. He served as a teacher, coach and assistant principal at Rangeview High School. In 2003, he became Aurora Central's new leader when he accepted the principal position.
Crediting his entire staff, from custodians to secretaries to teachers for his success, Stecklein always brings the conversation back to students.
“I’m all about children and I’m passionate about their success,” said Stecklein. “We’ve improved academically each year I’ve been here. I encourage students to get involved to take pride in their school and their efforts.”
This fall, Stecklein will be honored along with other winners from around the nation in Washington, D.C. He is now also in the running for the National High School Principal of the Year.
Members of the Colorado Association of Secondary School Principals selected Stecklein for this honor. The Principal of the Year program is sponsored by MetLife and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
The Principal of the Year award recognizes leaders like Stecklein and Dugan, who successfully provide high-quality learning opportunities for students. Selection criteria include proven educational leadership, resolution of complex problems, development of self and others, and a record of community service.
"Dean Stecklein is clearly picking up the PACE for our students," said Superintendent John L. Barry. "Earning Principal of the Year is a tribute to Principal Stecklein, the Aurora Central community and the Aurora Public Schools. Congratulations!"