Donald Westerman, Principal of Lake Hamilton High School in Pearcy, Arkansas, is this year’s recipient of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National School Administrator Award. Selected nationally from a competitive pool of applicants, FCCLA’s National School Administrator Award recognizes one exceptional school administrator annually from across the nation who supports FCCLA chapters and helps students take advantage of the opportunities offered within their school district.
Mr. Westerman contributes outstanding support to FCCLA on the local, state, and national level. In addition to regularly attending chapter meetings, leadership activities, and community service events, he assists the Lake Hamilton FCCLA Chapter by encouraging advisers to seek professional development opportunities, promoting student participation and community involvement in FCCLA Week challenges, and working alongside students in their candidacy for district, state, and national office.
During his time as a high school student, Westerman was involved in Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO). He later taught CTE classes as an Agricultural Teacher at Lake Hamilton High School before becoming Principal. These early life experiences inspired him to advocate for the positive impact CTE and CTSOs can have on students today.
Westerman’s reaction to being named FCCLA National School Administrator for 2021 was surprise and gratefulness, “Being recognized and nominated by our students and FCCLA staff at Lake Hamilton High School for this prestigious award was totally unexpected and humbling. Having the ability to provide support to FCCLA and our other CTE programs is a result of the Lake Hamilton School’s Administration and Board of Education expectations for our CTE programs to meet the career preparation needs of all students. Our District provides exceptional support for CTE programs through resource allocation, training, and human capital. Working on behalf of our district administration and BOE to support our outstanding students and teachers through quality CTE has been and continues to be a labor of love”.
Mr. Westerman was recognized on-stage and awarded the 2021 School Administrator Award during the Opening General Session at FCCLA’s Hybrid National Leadership Conference on June 27, 2021, in Nashville, TN. More than 2,500 members, advisers, and supporters were in attendance to congratulate him on this national award. This award is made possible thanks to a generous grant from a former administrator in the Deer Creek Public Schools of Oklahoma, Mrs. Helen Schmitz Webster.
About FCCLA: Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is a dynamic and effective national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work, and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education. FCCLA reaches more than 180,000 members and over 5,000 Family and Consumer Sciences educators in the United States and territories.