CHARLESTON, W.Va. — School administrators in West Virginia are being honored for their work as first year principals.

The West Virginia Center for Professional Development honored the 2017 Class of Principals’ Leadership Academy Distinguished Scholars in Charleston last week.

Nine school leaders were honored for their work at the Charleston Town Center Marriott Hotel.

Sara Rooper, assistant principal at Hurricane Middle School in Putnam County, was one of the honorees. She told MetroNews she’s proud to represent her school.

“We’re always one of the top schools in the state. We usually have phenomenal test scores. In the last A-F rating we were an ‘A’ school — one of only few in the state, so we are a West Virginia school of excellence. We have great staff, great students. I don’t know if I would want to work anywhere else,” Rooper said.

Rooper became an assistant principal in Sept. 2016. She said her new role is different than being a teacher.

“You can put out the fires in your own classroom. You know what’s going on. When you move into an administrative role, you have to wear many hats. You have to put out other people’s fires, so you have to be proactive, but you also have to be reactive,” she said.

Joey Subasic, another honoree, serves as the assistant principal at Wheeling Park High School in Ohio County. He said he’s always had a passion for education.

“I thought when I went to college there was no way I was going to get into education, but then then more that I explored different routes, I kept coming back to coaching and teaching,” he said.

During the Principals’ Leadership Academy, the school leaders attend sessions that focus on school management, finance, effective evaluation strategies and avenues to advance student learning and achievement.

Subasic said the sessions are helpful because he gets to learn from other principals in the state.

“Being here with other people that are going through the same struggles and experiencing the same kind of difficulties or issues or successes and hearing about that and then being able to take that back to where you’re at, you learn from what they’ve done — what’s worked, what hasn’t worked,” he said.

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