Finalist in Principal of the Year competition

Michael Concepcion is a finalist in The Washington Post’s Principal of the Year competition. Pictured from left: FCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban, Washington Post Principal of the Year Finalist Michael Concepcion, Board of Education Vice President Jay Mason, Public Affairs Executive Director Daryl Boffman, Accelerating Achievement & Equity Executive Director Dr. Keith Harris, Career and Technology Center Assistant Principal Jack Newkirk, and FCPS Supervisor of Career & Technology Education Kristine Pearl.

Career and Technology Center principal Michael Concepcion is the Frederick County Public Schools’ finalist for the Washington Post’s Principal of the Year Award.

Concepcion began his career with FCPS in 1999 as a classroom teacher at the CTC. He was promoted to assistant principal at Walkersville High School in 2005 and was reassigned in 2008 to assistant principal at Tuscarora High School. In 2009, Concepcion was promoted to principal at Walkersville High School followed by assignment as principal to the CTC in 2013.

Under his leadership, the Agri-business, Teacher Academy of Maryland, and Accelerated Occupational Health (AOH) Physical Rehabilitation programs were started. He also expanded and rebranded the Homeland Security/Criminal Justice program and expanded the CISCO Academy which now includes Security+ and Linux+ certifications as options for students. Concepcion also fostered the creation of 15 dual enrollment courses with Frederick Community College. As a servant-leader who guides both staff and students, Concepcion has positively moved and grown the Frederick County CTC.

Assistant principal at the CTC, Jack Newkirk, nominated Concepcion for this award, which had overwhelming support from FCPS administration and colleagues. “Mike consistently communicates his expectations, celebrates successes, looks for ways to continuously improve, and provides professional development for all through our monthly staff meetings,” according to Newkirk.

“I have had the privilege of working closely with Michael Concepcion during the past six years in his role as principal of the Frederick County Career and Technology Center (CTC)”, wrote Kristine Pearl, wupervisor of Career & Technology education. “Throughout that time, he has demonstrated leadership and exemplified commitment to his students by ensuring that we provide high level content and instruction that prepares students for success after high school.”

According to Elizabeth Duffy, executive director for Dual Enrollment at FCC, “Mike works every single day to secure unique opportunities for his students. He frequently wants to sit down with members of FCC’s staff and his instructors to discuss the possibilities creating pathways to industry credentials or opportunities to earn college credit while attending CTC.”

Walkersville High School math teacher Mark Cronk appreciates Concepcion’s leadership style. “Mike’s leadership revitalized me as a team leader and teacher. For the first time we had a School Improvement Team that spent hours looking at ways to enact real school improvement knowing we had his backing to do something real.”

“My daughter feels that she knows Mr. Concepcion (also known as Mr. “C”), because, in her words; “he wants to know us,” wrote parent Suzanne Twilley. “He is often the first person they see when they get off the bus in the mornings as he is consistently outside of the school welcoming them usually with a big smile and a warm greeting. This is a wonderful trait as many students are quickly made to feel that they are valued and welcome in this building (their second school).

Co-founder of Dynamic Automotive, Jose Bueso, commented further on Concepcion’s character. “From the beginning of his tenure as principal of Frederick County’s Career and Technology Center his passion for providing and maintaining excellent educational programs was evident. His consistent guidance and support for faculty and our student body is inspiring and is helping them to achieve new heights. His positive demeanor is perpetual and infectious, it is part of his charisma and it’s encouraging to all who encounter him.”

Concepcion earned his bachelor’s degree in communications media at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his master’s degree in educational leadership with a graduate certificate in school administration and wupervision from The Johns Hopkins University.

The Washington Post will announce the winner of the Principal of the Year Award in April.

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