Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School Principal Molly Yerkes has been named AASSP Region 5 Principal of The Year for 2024, the second time she has won the award since 2020. (Courtesy photo)

Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School Principal Molly Yerkes has been named AASSP Region 5 Principal of The Year for 2024, the second time she has won the award since 2020. (Courtesy photo)

Neighbors: DZ Principal Molly Yerkes named regional principal of the year for second time since 2020

Middle school’s principal for past 14 years also recipient of national Millikan award in 2013.

Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School Principal Molly Yerkes has been named Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP) Region V Principal of the Year — the second time she has won the award in that job after being so honored in 2020.

Yerkes has been with the Juneau School District for more than 20 years, the majority of them as principal at Dzantik’i Heeni. She holds a masters in teaching, public administration and educational leadership from the University of Alaska, is fluent in Spanish, and was a 2013 Millikan Educator Award recipient as one of the top educators nationwide.

“Throughout her tenure, Principal Yerkes has been committed to building community and promoting high academic outcomes, while fostering a supportive environment that is student and staff focused,” said Frank Hauser, the district’s superintendent.

AASSP sponsors regional and statewide Principal of The Year recognition awards to honor the educational leaders who play such a pivotal role in student success. They may be nominated by anyone — students, staff, parents, district office staff or principal peers — with awards finalized by AASSP members in their region. Regional Principals of The Year are eligible to be in the running for the statewide Alaska Principal of The Year.

Yerkes spent six years as assistant principal at DHMS before moving up and spending the last 14 years as principal.

Kasey Mow, a teacher at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School said Yerkes is a phenomenal leader who has the best interest of students and staff in mind.

“She has compassion for staff and students while insisting on a high level of rigor across areas that include cultural knowledge and practices in everyday learning,” Mow said,

Hauser congratulated Yerkes by saying, “This is a well-deserved recognition as the AASSP Region V Principal of the year.”

Each AASSP 2024 Regional Principal of The Year will be awarded and recognized at the 58th Annual Alaska Principals’ Conference in Anchorage.

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