Watauga High School Principal Marshall Gasperson has been chosen by his fellow principals as the Watauga County Schools Principal of the Year for 2016-17. His award was announced Monday in the high school gym before an audience of WHS students and faculty during a surprise visit to the school by Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott, Assistant Superintendent and Human Resources Director Dr. Stephen Martin, additional representatives of the Watauga County Schools central office team, and Mr. Gasperson’s wife Judy.
Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott congratulated Gasperson on his honor and noted that it carries special value because he was chosen for it by his peers. “The greatest recognition you can receive is from the people you work with, the people who know the decisions you make, the challenges you face, and the leadership you provide,” said Elliott. “His fellow principals voted him Principal of the Year and that makes this an especially valuable and impressive award.”
Dr. Martin commented that “those who know Marshall Gasperson know he is passionate about Watauga High School. He has been instrumental in improving the graduation rate and providing multiple paths to success for all of its students. He speaks with pride about the accomplishments of the students, teachers, and staff at the high school.”
Gasperson responded by saying “This is a great honor, and it’s more for the teachers and students than it is for me. I love Watauga High School and hope to be here for many more years.”
Gasperson is an Army veteran and career educator with 22 years of experience as a teacher, coach, central office administrator, and principal. He has been employed with the Watauga County Schools for 17 of those 22 years and was named principal at WHS in March 2012. His local connections also include the completion of his bachelor’s, master’s, and Education Specialist degrees at Appalachian State University.
Watauga High School is a comprehensive high school with an enrollment of approximately 1,350 students. The high school achieved a record high graduation rate of 87.9% and a record low dropout rate of 1.66% in the last school year. Students at the high school also achieved the second highest SAT scores out of the 115 school districts in NC in 2015 and consistently win honors for excellence in core academics, career and technical education, and the arts.
Gasperson will be recognized for his selection at a Board of Education meeting and will receive a check for $500 as Principal of the Year. He is also a candidate for additional honors as a regional Principal of the Year for northwestern North Carolina.