We are thrilled to announce that Mike Dailey, the Southeast Polk Jr. High Principal, has been named the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) 2023-2024 National Administrator of the Year. This prestigious award recognizes outstanding education administrators who exhibit exemplary leadership and demonstrate a commitment to empowering students to develop key transportable skills for college and career success in order to thrive outside of the classroom. Dailey was chosen from nominations received from across the U.S. and ultimately named the National PLTW Administrator of the Year from an outstanding pool of nominees because of his impact on the lives of students and teachers through PLTW programs and his commitment to expanding access for students.

PLTW is honoring Mr. Dailey for his work in the PLTW Gateway pathway. Mr. Dailey joined the Southeast Polk Ram Fam in 2011 and is in his 13th year serving as Southeast Polk Jr. High Principal. The Southeast Polk Jr. High has been recognized as a PLTW Distinguished school for six consecutive years since the 2017-2018 school year.

“Mike has been instrumental in the development of the Project Lead the Way program and this national award is well deserved.  His passion and advocacy have played a big role in creating and expanding authentic STEM learning opportunities for all of our students,” shared Superintendent Dr. Dirk Halupnik. “Our district has become recognized as a leader in STEM education and Mike Dailey has been a big part of that.”

“Celebrating great teaching and learning is one the most important things we do at Project Lead The Way. Our network of educators across the U.S. provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in today’s STEM-driven world,” said Dr. David Dimmett, PLTW President and CEO. “We recognize and congratulate these educational leaders and are proud of the work they do to ensure all students have learning experiences that excite and prepare them for future careers.” Dr. Dimmett shared some quotes from Mr. Dailey’s nomination including, ” Mr. Dailey has demonstrated unmatched focus on bringing innovative and practical education opportunities to the building.”

Dr. Dimmett presented the prestigious award to Mr. Dailey at an award ceremony on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, at the Southeast Polk Jr. High. The event was filmed and will be shared with the  Jr. High students and staff at their All School Assembly on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023. After the award presentation, Mr. Dailey led the PLTW team on a tour of our PLTW classes. They stopped by the Medical Detectors classroom and participated with students using virtual reality goggles to explore the different parts of our brain! Then they went to the Robotics classroom and watched our students in action. 7th grader, Colin Mulcahy shared his thoughts with WHOTV while he worked on his project.  Lastly, they walked over to our Spring Creek building to talk with several Design and Modeling students. It was amazing listening to the students share what they are learning.

“Project Lead the Way has been a tremendous partner with our hands-on learning in the STEM classrooms at the Junior High level.  Through the training our teachers have benefited from, to the curriculum our students have experienced, it has been a great fit for Southeast Polk Junior High,” Mr. Dailey shared.  “I have thoroughly enjoyed my small part in the process of bringing these concepts and opportunities to the students of Southeast Polk.”

Each year PLTW honors outstanding teachers and administrators across the network who play an immeasurable role to prepare students to thrive in college, careers and beyond. We are thrilled that Mr. Dailey is being recognized for his years of effort.

Click here to see PLTW at SEP: https://www.flickr.com/photos/198968060@N07/albums/72177720313335517/

About PLTW

PLTW admin of the yearProject Lead The Way (PLTW) equips PreK-12 students for a STEM-driven world with teacher-empowered curriculum in computer science, engineering, biomedical science, and more. For over 25 years, PLTW’s curriculum coupled with its best-in-class professional development has supported teachers in creating an environment to make every student STEM successful. As a national nonprofit organization, PLTW is proud to reach 2.5 million students in elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states. With over 100,000 trained teachers nationwide, PLTW brings relevant, hands-on learning to classrooms across the country. For more information on PLTW, visit pltw.org.