Guthrie High School Educator Named Oklahoma High School Principal of the Year
Mar 06, 2020
Will Parker


March 6, 2020


Guthrie High School Educator Named Oklahoma High School Principal of the Year


Oklahoma City (March 5, 2020) – Chris LeGrande, Principal at Guthrie High School, has been named the 2020 Oklahoma High School Principal of the Year by the Oklahoma Association of Secondary School Principals (OASSP), a professional association of the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA).

“We are beyond excited for Mr. LeGrande to receive this honor,” said Dr. Mike Simpson, superintendent at Guthrie Public Schools. “He is an innovative leader, and his dedication to student achievement is evident every day he walks through the doors of our high school.”

As principal of Guthrie High School the past eight years, LeGrande has lead efforts in providing meaningful learning opportunities for all students. His school’s “Power Hour” is an innovative schedule where students have targeted time during their lunch hour for remediation and enrichment. Each grade-level has focused support to explore options in curriculum, career technology, concurrent enrollment, online course options, Advanced Placement classes, and a wide range of elective choices.

“Chris LeGrande genuinely cares for our students,” said Jeff Jordan, an English teacher at Guthrie High School. “He holds teachers accountable and leads by example. His quiet voice tends to deescalate situations rather than exasperate them. He is a learning advocate, open to innovation, and a strong leader who does not micromanage. I appreciate the fact that he understands that students learn in diverse ways and that teachers teach in diverse ways. He allows you the freedom to implement new ideas,” he said.

Senior student Kelsey Raney appreciates the small ways Mr. LeGrande builds relationships at Guthrie High School. “Mr. LeGrande made it a point during my sophomore year to come over to my lunch table and wish me a happy birthday,” she said. “And though it may seem like a small gesture, I remember it years later. Mr. LeGrande understands that that though it may just be a small comment, it might just make that student’s day, which is why I believe he makes such an effort to speak to students at GHS. He has also implemented a program called ‘Pizza with the Principal,’ where he meets with a group of about four seniors each week and talks to them about life, aspirations and goals,” she said.

With a focus on developing college and career-ready students, freshman students at Guthrie High School are enrolled in a Career Choices elective course, where they research professions of interest and costs associated with higher education opportunities. Sophomore students have career development curriculum embedded in their world history classes. In addition, seniors in good standing are given job shadowing opportunities with practicing professionals. The shadowing program provides relevance to their educational experience while educating them about entrepreneurship, work readiness, and financial literacy.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to be selected as the OASSP High School Principal of the Year,” said LeGrande. “The success of Guthrie High School can be directly attributed to my administrative teammates as well as our dedicated faculty and staff members. I am a true believer in servant leadership and developing leaders from within your organization. Our focus on establishing and maintaining effective relationships has enabled us to meet students where they presently exist and to ultimately cultivate college and career-ready citizens,” said LeGrande. “I look forward to advocating on behalf of school leaders state-wide and representing Oklahoma at the national level.”

“We are so proud of the work Chris LeGrande does for his school as well as for administrators across the state,” said Dr. Pam Deering, CCOSA executive director. “He sets the tone for a strong school culture, and he actively advocates for ongoing support of his school and public schools across the state.” LeGrande also serves as chairman of the CCOSA Executive Committee and as the State Coordinator for the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

LeGrande will be recognized as the Oklahoma High School Principal of the Year by CCOSA and OASSP at the CCOSA Summer Leadership Conference in June 2020. He will also be recognized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) at the NASSP State Principal Award Ceremony in October 2020. He is eligible to become one of three finalists to be named as contenders for the National Principal of the Year award. A judging panel will choose finalists based on their written applications, data provided and letters of recommendation, according to the National Association for Secondary School Principals.

“Principals play a pivotal role in cultivating healthy environments for student learning,” said Will Parker, OASSP executive director. “Chris LeGrande is a great example of the hard work, dedication, and innovation principals across the state are providing to their schools, and we are proud to recognize him for his service to his school community and as a role model for all Oklahoma school leaders.”

For more information about the High Principal of the Year award or to learn more about CCOSA and OASSP, visit