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Hays High assistant principal wins award





Tom Albers, Hays High School assistant principal, doesn't take credit for being named assistant principal of the year by the Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals.

"I appreciate it," he said. "It's a very nice honor, but I also believe it's a reflection of the school and the people I work with. It's not my award. It's our award."

Albers is one of four members of the HHS administrative team that includes Mike Hester, principal, Marty Straub, assistant principal, and Clint Albers, athletic director.

He's been at HHS since 2002. Before coming to Hays, he was assistant principal at Pittsburg High School for a year and taught math and coached at Pratt.

His responsibilities are many -- career technical education programs, including art, family and consumer science, construction and trades, drafting, welding, Channel 13, and general business, as well as math, and overseeing the building and grounds.

Hester said Albers makes sure technical education provides "real world hands-on projects."

Like many in education, Albers cited his greatest challenge as a lack of funds.

"We're doing a lot of great things with what we have, but I think we could go so much higher. ... I think that's a frustration common with everyone. People have to do more and more."

The reward comes at the end of the school year, though, seeing kids graduate and seeing them grow from freshmen to seniors.

"Some kids have to come in because of some discipline reasons, but you get to build a rapport and watch them grow and mature and see them succeed," he said. "Those are good success stories."

Albers and his wife, Tina, a part-time preschool teacher at O'Loughlin Elementary School, have five children -- MacKenzie a Fort Hays State University freshman, Kord, a HHS junior, Ady, a Hays Middle School sixth-grader, Brenlynn, a first-grader, and Brogan, 4. "They've been very supportive because the job does take a lot of time," he said of his family.

"Tina's been wonderful to carry the boat a lot of times when I'm not around."

He's looking forward to networking with administrators from across the country at a spring conference in Washington for the state winners.

"It's not Tom Albers (who won the award), it's USD 489 and especially Hays High," he said. "Our staff is just awesome here. They make this job easier."

Hester said it's not surprising Albers is being recognized.

"Tom is a kids' man," Hester said. "The kids like him, and he's an administrator who loves kids."