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Congratulations Kalles Principal Guy Kovacs
Congratulations Kalles Principal Guy Kovacs
Posted on 05/30/2019

Congratulations to Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP) Middle Level Principal of the Year recipient Guy Kovacs. Each year AWSP honors three principals with the Principal of the Year award, recognizing elementary, middle, and high school principals and one or two assistant principals.

Kalles Junior High Principal Guy Kovacs received this honor and was named this year’s Washington State Middle Level Principal of the Year.

Kovacs has been in education for 29 years. He has been a principal in the Puyallup School District for 19 years. Prior to obtaining his administrative credentials, Guy was a classroom teacher for 10 years and ironically six of those years were spent at Kalles Junior High teaching social studies. He continued moving forward in his career and last year he earned his PhD, an accomplish he is especially proud of as a first-generation college student. Through his years of experience, he has mentored over 15 administrators and received several awards; including Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Golden Acorn Award, PTA Outstanding Advocate Award, and opened Edgerton Elementary school in September 2007.Guy in the cafeteria with students

He has worked consistently at creating a culture that is centered on students. He believes students should have many options to get them engaged, have fun, and involved outside of the classroom. He builds relationships that make a difference in the student’s future by creating a positive culture and climate through visiting classrooms, connecting with staff and reaching out to students and their families. He supports diversity, equity, and inclusion in his every day action and message.

“I think Mr. Kovacs is a nice person. If someone needs help, they know that they can go to him at lunch. He is a great principal,” Seventh Grader Ryne Fultz

Teachers and staff at Kalles respect Kovacs and appreciate the support they receive. He walks alongside teachers, believing in the importance of connecting with them, listening to their feedback, and giving them a voice. He has created an environment where great ideas thrive, and risks are taken. Through his leadership and service at Kalles, staff members have been recognized for Teacher of the Year, CTE Teacher of the Year, Paraeducator of the Year, Volunteer of the Year (district and state), and the Golden Acorn Award.

 “He is constantly motivating and encouraging our staff through emails, face-to-face conversations, celebrations at each of our staff meetings, and honoring their time and professionalism,” said Kalles Assistant Principal Jamie Lee.

Kovacs’ focus has been around effective professional development in the areas of AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and Response to Intervention (RTI is a multi-tier approach to the early identification of support for students with learning and behavior needs), strong first instruction, and data-driven decisions. Last year Kalles received the Washington Achievement Award for Closing the Achievement Gap. They have an ongoing equity-focused implementation of schoolwide AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and has successfully certified each year.  

English and math teacher at Kalles Heather Erickson said, “Dr. Kovacs is the type of principal that you want to work for. I wasn’t surprised to hear that he was up for this award. He is very approachable, firm with expectations, and supports his staff. Students love seeing him in the hallways, classrooms, and at school events supporting them, too.”
Guy at the lunch table with students

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity select one State Secondary Principal of the Year. From the state winners, only three are selected as a finalists for National Secondary Principal of the Year. He will be traveling to Washington DC to attend the awards banquet where one principal will be awarded the National Secondary Principal of the Year award. 

Kovacs contributes his success to the many mentors in his life. He especially points out his mother and Connie Miller. His mother was not formally educated but loved to read, converse, and question. He attributes his unconditional love for others and his passion for learning to her. Before she passed away from cancer, Connie was the principal at Firgrove when Kovacs was the assistant principal. She taught him about tenaciously supporting every student, especially those who are at-risk and also the commitment and sacrifice needed to be an effective school leader.

Congratulations Guy Kovacs. On behalf of the Puyallup School District, students, staff, and the community thank you for your outstanding service and dedication to the students of Puyallup.


Anne Martin