Jana Frieler, principal of Overland High School in the Cherry Creek School District since 2005, was voted president-elect of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) at the organizationâ€™s national conference in San Diego February 27, 2009.
Frieler will lead the 30,000- member organization in 2010-2011. Frieler has been active in principal leadership through national-level committee work and service on the NASSP Board of Directors.
Congrats to Jana Frieler on her new position. What’s the big deal with this announcement, you say? You may remember Frieler as the principal who during her first year was thrown into the fire of national controversy over teacher Jay Bennish’s outrageous and fact-challenged tirade against then-President George Bush and capitalism that was recorded by a student in his geography class.
At a press conference in March 2006, Frieler welcomed back Bennish as “a member of our Blazer family”. Well, it was precisely about this time three years ago that the controversy was brewing, and even though he still is listed as a faculty member, we haven’t heard a lick from Jay Bennish since. That very well may be due in part to Frieler’s effective leadership.
Reading the news on the Cherry Creek website was like a blast from the media frenzy past. Any connection of significance or relevance? Probably not – it just seemed like an opportunity for a quaint, provincial version of “Where Are They Now?” And to dredge up a link to one of my past writings: Because, after all, I still think the Bennish controversy makes the case for school choice.
And what about the academic record? Interestingly, Overland High’s School Accountability Report (SARs) for the past few years have earned an “Average” rating, while the new academic growth model shows Overland making above-average progress in reading, below-average progress in writing, and mixed results in math.