Union Middle School Assistant Principal Doug Hallenbeck has been named the best in Utah, marking the second year in a row in which a leader from Canyons School District's Union Middle has received a top state award for school leadership.
Hallenbeck was named the 2014 Utah Assistant Principal of the Year during a Jan. 8, 2014 press conference hosted by Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox and the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals. He follows a trail of excellence blazed by Union Principal Mary Anderson, who was named the 2013 Utah Middle School Principal of the Year.
"This is a culmination of work I've done for the last 21 years in education," Hallenbeck said. "I always told my students every day (as a teacher), 'Teach me something new.' I need to know something new. It happens every day still. I get to learn every single day walking into my job. I learn from mentors, I learn from other teachers, and I learn from students every single day. That's why I went into teaching."
Hallenbeck, a former middle school technology education and engineering teacher and high school Career and Technical Education coordinator, is noted for working to expand technology into Union's classrooms, and providing teachers the support they need to ensure student success.
"We are very impressed with Doug, and we are proud to have such a dedicated professional represent our Association and the state of Utah as the Assistant Principal of the Year at the National Competition," UASSP Executive Director Carl Boyington said in a letter announcing Hallenbeck's award. The national competition is sponsored by the National Association for Secondary School Principals and Virco Inc., which makes school furniture.
Hallenbeck is an articulate and intelligent leader with a big heart, his colleagues note. A keen problem-solver, he approaches difficult situations with a sense of calm and good humor. As a teacher, he was frequently requested by parents, who had no doubt their children would be nurtured and soar to new heights under his tutelage.
"Doug's kindness and caring of students is unsurpassed, and his efforts to help children succeed, both academically and socially, are second to none," said Dr. Ginger Rhode, Interim Superintendent of Canyons School District. "He truly is deserving of this high honor from the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals."
Canyons is home to three UASSP standouts to be named in the past four years. In 2011, Hillcrest High School's Paul Kirby was named Utah Assistant Principal of the Year. Hallenbeck's award marks the first time a Canyons District school posted two back-to-back statewide winners of top school administrator honors.
Hallenbeck will be honored in an awards ceremony at the First General Session of the UASSP's Mid-Winter Conference on Jan. 27, 2014 at the Dixie Convention Center in St. George. UASSP also has nominated him to receive national honors for his leadership.
Read about Hallenbeck's and other UASSP honorees in the Deseret News.