Mililani Middle vice principal recognized as state's top assistant principal, in running for national award


Mililani Middle School assistant principal Jeffrey Horstman is Hawai‘i’s 2024 Assistant Principal of the Year and one of three finalists for the 2024 National Assistant Principal of the Year award.

​MILILANI — Mililani Middle School Vice Principal Jeffrey Horstman was recognized today at a campus ceremony for being named Hawai‘i’s 2024 Assistant Principal of the Year and a finalist for the national assistant principal of the year award.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Assistant Principal of the Year program annually recognizes outstanding middle level and high school assistant principals who have succeeded in providing high quality learning opportunities for students.

The local chapter of the NASSP, the Hawai‘i Association of Secondary School Administrators (HASSA), named Horstman its 2024 Assistant Principal of the Year.

“Mr. Horstman’s significance and impact is beyond the boundaries of Mililani Middle School because of his commitment to our students,” Superintendent Keith Hayashi said. “With the impact that he makes, it’s no wonder that he is the Assistant Principal of the Year and a top finalist for the nation. On behalf of the Department, we congratulate Mr. Horstman. We are all so proud of you.”

Horstman is in his fifth year as a vice principal for Mililani Middle and has worked with middle level students for over 15 years. He previously taught sixth-grade English at Wahiawa Middle from 2008 to 2010. He then served as a counselor at Mililani Middle for nine years before becoming the school’s vice principal in 2019. He also taught at the McKinley, Waipahu, and Wahiawa Community Schools for Adults from 2016 to 2019. Prior to the classroom, he worked as a rural youth program director for crime prevention at YMCA Kalihi.

As vice principal, Horstman led the effort to provide early transition support to elementary students by collaborating with teachers, student service coordinators, and curriculum coordinators to implement summer programming for incoming fifth graders. He also helped to secure additional funding for high-interest after-school programs. He also works with students on the school’s quarterly newsletter, “Blazer Bugle,” and videos to highlight students’ voices and perspectives.

“There are a lot of great administrators doing wonderful things across the state of Hawai‘i and I truly believe that I’m amongst the best,” Horstman said in response to the award. Horstman acknowledged the collaboration and teamwork of the entire Mililani Middle faculty and staff as a major factor in receiving this recognition. 

“It’s a huge honor to be representing the state of Hawai‘i but I’m not just representing administrators when I go up to D.C., I’m representing all of you,” he shared with his colleagues. 

Erin Conway, representing Rep. Trish La Chica, and Rep. Lauren Matsumoto, who both represent the Mililani area, also presented Horstman with a commemorative certification from the Hawai‘i State Legislature to help mark the occasion. Honolulu City Councilmember Val Okimoto, who represents parts of ‘Aiea, Mililani, Pearl City and Waipahu, was also in attendance.

In addition to Horstman, the national organization named Sheri Murphy of Frederick High School in Maryland and Courtney Walker of Carrollton High School in Georgia as the other two finalists for the 2024 NASSP National Assistant Principal of the Year award. The winner will be announced at a gala in Washington, D.C., on April 5.

“Mr. Horstman, Ms. Murphy and Ms. Walker exemplify the exceptional leadership that defines the very best in our schools,” said NASSP CEO Ronn Nozoe in a news release. “Their dedication goes beyond the call of duty, directly impacting the lives and futures of their students and educators in the most positive ways. We couldn’t be prouder to honor their incredible work.” 

This is the second year in a row that a Hawai‘i Assistant Principal of the Year was named a finalist for the national title. Last year’s state winner, Kawānanakoa Middle School Vice Principal Dr. Bebi Davis, was also named a national finalist.

Horstman will also be representing Hawai‘i at the UNITED conference this July in Nashville hosted by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and NASSP.

A list of the honorees from all 50 states can be viewed here.


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