Englewood Schools' Bobbie Skaggs, longtime principal of Colorado's Finest High School of Choice, has been recognized with one of the highest honors in Colorado education. The Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE) named Bobbie the 2019 High School Principal of the Year!
Superintendent Wendy Rubin made this exciting announcement at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, April 2 and congratulated Principal Skaggs on this tremendous and much deserved honor. We are very proud of you, Principal Skaggs! Our students and staff are fortunate to have such a wonderful leader.
After the announcement was made, we spoke with Principal Skaggs about her award and her experience as leader of Colorado's Finest. Her full comments are below:
Tell us a bit about what being honored as High School Principal of the Year means to you?
Principal Skaggs: When I first heard the news, it was April Fool's Day, so I thought - is this really real? It has been two days, and no one has called to say it isn't true! Being Principal of the Year is such an amazing honor, especially in a state where educators are innovative, resourceful and inspiring. I feel humbled, anxious, and overwhelmingly grateful.
As leader of Colorado's Finest, what has been your greatest inspiration?
Principal Skaggs: My greatest inspiration is the students in my school. Those students who have been disengaged from education for various reasons and who have often overcome challenging obstacles that many adults would struggle to overcome; and yet, those same students are willing to give learning one more chance. Honestly, there is no greater gift than for a student to walk into our school and say, "Okay, I want to give school one more try."
What leadership qualities do you believe are most important?
Principal Skaggs: I believe that leadership is really an act of service to others, essentially creating value in others. With that said, I think listening, truly listening, is one of the most important leadership qualities. And I think a leader must be able to visualize the potential in people, inspire people to pursue that potential, and communicate the possibilities of a new reality.
What are some of the leadership qualities you see in your students?
Principal Skaggs: The students in my school are creative, compassionate, and intelligent young people. All of these qualities are important for today's leaders; leaders in a world where creativity is necessary to address societal issues/concerns, where compassion is critical when interacting with various cultures and people, and lastly, intelligence is vital to getting all of the work accomplished.
How has the Colorado's Finest community influenced you, both professionally and personally?
Principal Skaggs: The Colorado's Finest community is a family. The concept of family permeates our school culture and creates an environment where people are valued, supported, and held accountable. The notion of nurturing relationships has been a core value for me professionally and personally.
Same with your team of talented educators -- how have they inspired you and helped you to be a stronger leader?
Principal Skaggs: I work with educators who have many superpowers. They make strong connections with students, instilling hope when none existed before; they create learners out of students who often resist with all their might; they try over and over again to inspire students to be their very best and harness their potential. They do all of these things with ingenuity, kindness, and passion. When working with such people, how can one be anything but inspired? I know I certainly am!
Congratulations, Principal Skaggs!