Dr. Jon Hoerl is named Colorado High School Principal of the Year

“Dr. Hoerl impressed us with his unique focus on building a collaborative school community, while also pursuing innovation through increased access to Advanced Placement courses and expansion of career exploration courses,” said Wes Paxton, CASE President-elect and Jeffco Community Superintendent, and Liz Walhof, Academy 20 Assistant Principal. “He has a people-first attitude and is intentional about individually connecting with his students, particularly those who are struggling. His staff knows he is committed to raising the bar on student achievement and ensuring that they have the support and tools to do that important work.”
The mission of Colorado Association of School Executives is to empower Colorado education leaders through advocacy, professional learning, and networking to deliver on the promise of public education.
“Jon is very deserving of this award,” said Superintendent Dr. Karen Cheser. “During his tenure as principal, Durango High School has dramatically increased graduation rates and proficiency scores. The school has grown from four to 14 Career & Technical Education (CTE) career pathway programs and has become a model for the state.”  
Dr. Hoerl will receive award recognition at the annual CASE Awards Ceremony on April 26 in Denver. He will also be a finalist for National Secondary Principal of the Year through the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), which will be announced in October 2024. 

"I am extremely grateful and humbled to receive this honor," said Hoerl. "I'm very proud of the incredible work and partnerships between our students, teachers, staff, parents, and community. This award is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of the entire DHS staff and incredible community, which has led to so many accomplishments and successes for our students."

The mission of Durango High School is to be the best public high school in the State of Colorado. The school provides rigorous classroom study, extracurricular activities, sports, Career & Technical Education, Honors classes, Advanced Placement, concurrent enrollment  in college courses, and four-year, individualized academic advisors to help prepare students for their future careers. 

"We have been able to accomplish so much with the visioning and support of our superintendent, Dr. Cheser," said Hoerl. "We're empowered to bring this vision to life and prepare all students for their future careers."

“Jon is always open to innovations that will increase opportunities and options for students,” said Cheser.  “From academics to athletics and the arts, he continually seeks ways to ensure every single student is successful. We appreciate his dedication to our district mission of ensuring every student lives out their Ikigai – their dream for the future.”