NARRAGANSETT — Assistant Principal Toby Gibbons had quite the surprise waiting for him Wednesday morning at Narragansett High School.
The entire Mariner faculty and student body had gathered in the school’s gym for the special announcement that Gibbons was named the state’s Assistant Principal of the Year by Rhode Island Association of School Principals.
With the crowd applauding and the student band performing, a surprised Gibbons accepted the award after the executive director of the Association of School Principals, Don Rebello, joined by Superintendent of Narragansett Schools Peter Cummings, made the announcement.
It was NHS Principal Dan Warner who nominated Gibbons back in October, because of his work at the high school and how it has influenced the many students and faculty he’s worked with during the seven years he has been assistant principal.
Gibbons was gracious in accepting the award, and showed his enthusiasm for the students and staff he gets to work with on a daily basis.
“I am beyond humbled to receive this award for which Mr. Warner nominated me and am grateful for the wonderful teachers and staff I am privileged to call my colleagues on a daily basis,” he said. “The students I work with every day help me grow and learn continually. It’s wonderful to have the chance to work with such great kids at Narragansett High School. I am unbelievably blessed and thankful to come to work in Narragansett each day.”
It was Gibbons who filled in as interim principal for four months last year, when Warner was on medical leave to receive a life-saving kidney transplant and during the subsequent recovery. Gibbons stepped in as the interim principal so the school didn’t miss a beat.
Warner said the assistant principal is truly responsible for the day to day operation of the school. Gibbons spends most of his working day with students and faculty, helping in whatever ways needed. Warner was asked which three words best describe Gibbons.
“Advocate, personable and visionary,” he said. “Students can count on him to meet whatever needs they have as well as hold a strong respect for him for his discipline, which enables students to continually achieve success.”
The Rhode Island Association of School Principals selects its Assistant Principal of the Year from among all eligible assistant principals in grades K-12.
The Assistant Principal of the Year is also eligible for national recognition. The National Assistant Principal of the Year program recognizes outstanding middle level and high school assistant principals who have demonstrated success in leadership, curriculum and personalization.
Assistant principals with at least three years experience at the elementary, middle, or high school level and who are active members of RIASP for three years are eligible for nomination for the state award.
Anyone may nominate an eligible assistant principal – a superintendent, principal, teacher, parent, or student.
A formal recognition dinner is planned in the spring, when Gibbons will join the new Rhode Island Principal of the Year as well as all the first-year principals across the state to celebrate the award.