Troy High School educator named Michigan Assistant Principal of the Year

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published September 22, 2022

 Troy High School Assistant Principal Brian Zawislak recently was named Michigan’s 2023 Assistant Principal of the Year by the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals and the Michigan Association of Student Councils and Honor Societies.

Troy High School Assistant Principal Brian Zawislak recently was named Michigan’s 2023 Assistant Principal of the Year by the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals and the Michigan Association of Student Councils and Honor Societies.

TROY — Brian Zawislak, the assistant principal of Troy High School, has been named Michigan’s 2023 Assistant Principal of the Year by the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals and the Michigan Association of Student Councils and Honor Societies.

This honor qualifies Zawislak to represent Michigan as the state’s nominee for the National Association of Secondary School Principals Assistant Principal of the Year competition, which will be decided in April 2023 at the NASSP Principals Institute in Washington, D.C.

“I am completely honored and humbled by the award,” he remarked. “Troy High School is such a special place because of the driven students, dedicated educators and supportive families. I am just trying to do my part to maintain that level of professionalism and enthusiasm I see around me each day. I’m so thankful to be able to work with our student government. It’s so rewarding to be around such a special group of students.”

Zawislak was nominated by Sarayu Bethamcherla, Class of 2022 graduate of Troy High School, who served as the school student government executive board vice president. She commended Zawislak’s student-centered focus, saying that he consistently makes an effort to establish relationships.

“From the second I conversed with Mr. Zawislak, I felt comfort in his smile and service,” she said. “(I am) forever changed by experiences and people that Mr. Zawislak connected me to. … (My future career path) is a result of the support of my assistant principal who uplifts student potential and encourages the pursuit of passions inside and outside of the classroom.”

To qualify for this award, nominees must have served in an assistant principal role for at least three years in grades 6-12. Additionally, nominees must demonstrate a sense of collaborative leadership; be involved in the curriculum, instruction and assessment; and also display personal positive involvement with district staff, students and families.

Zawislak has worked more than 20 years in the education field. He has worked 15 years in the Troy School District, six of which were as an administrator. In his nomination he was described as having infectious energy, being visible, approachable, a servant leader, and a collaborative and student-centered administrator, integrating student voice in aspects of his administration-level decisions.

Remo Roncone, Troy High School principal, said Zawislak is a role model for staff and students.

“He really has had an extremely large and positive impact on everything that we do,” Roncone said.

“It is Brian’s unique ability to relate to students and teachers that places him above most other administrators I have worked with in the Troy district,” added Zawislak’s coworker, Melissa Curth, another assistant principal at Troy High School.

Zawislak thinks that what set him apart in the competition for Assistant Principal of the Year was his ability to not only learn, but also use that knowledge to help better others — both students and fellow staff members.

“I feel like the thing that sets me apart is the ability to not only reflect and learn from different situations, but to be able to apply the learning afterwards,” he said. “Professionally, we engaged in some learning as an admin team and developed an induction program with our new teachers to support them in their first years. Our admin team worked alongside our counselors to examine a TV series with our counselors and developed Colts Care Week, which helps students develop connections and a sense of belonging with our Troy High community. Our student government along with some staff members attended a mental health summit and left with the inspiration to start biweekly Wellness Wednesday videos. It’s one thing to engage in learning; however, it can mean the world to others if you can apply what you have learned in your everyday life.”

Zawislak added that “life is not measured by what you know, but rather, by what you can do with the knowledge you have.” He said that this is the core concept he tries to bring to his work as an educator.

“Early on in my career, I left a professional development session and a colleague said, ‘You are a sponge when it comes to this stuff.’ I always took that to heart. I feel like if we pay attention enough, we can learn something from every situation we are in. Whether it is at a professional learning session, having to deal with failure — which I had to do a lot in my life — or while interacting with others, we can learn something new and grow each day.”

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