McNary High School principal Erik Jespersen was named the 2021 Oregon high school principal of the year by the Coalition of Oregon School Association of Secondary School Administrators and the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators at a ceremony on Friday, April 23.

For McNary students, parents, teachers, administrators and community leaders, the recognition for Jespersen is a no-brainer. The Keizer community has known for years that he is a special prinicpal who has endeavored to make McNary a world class school. 

In a year of disrupted in-class instruction due to COVID-19, Jespersen assured that all students had access to their education. 

By most metrics, Jespersen 's primary achievement is an increasing graduation rate. In six years McNary saw rates climb from 82% to 91%. The Keizer community can be proud of the culture Jespersen has created at McNary. His "1-1-1 Initiative" is key to keeping students engaged. The initiative encourages all students to participate in at last one club, one sport and one activity each year. That gives our kids added incentive to attend and stay in school.

Surprised by the ceremony, the humble Jespersen was lauded by school and community leaders from school superintendent Christy Perry to Keizer Mayor Cathy Clark and Marion County Commission Danielle Bethell.

Erik Jespersen should be held up as a paragon for educators and principals everywhere to emulate. His achievements at McNary are applauded near and far. His agenda is the success of his students and he succeeds because of what he knows but also because of who he is. He is towering figure, both literally and figuratively.

Jespersen is a world class principal and Keizer calls him its own. 

       — LAZ