• 48°

Hogsett principal earns state honor, will represent Kentucky in D.C.

Mary G. Hogsett Elementary Principal Leo Labrillazo will be representing Kentucky at the National Distinguished Principals event in Washington D.C. in October.

“I’m really excited about it,” said Labrillazo, who was nominated by the school’s secretary, Anne Winburn. “I am honored. You work hard in a day … I am honored that someone thought to nominate me.”

According to the website of the National Distinguished Principals, to be nominated, the principal must have at least five years of experience in principalship and plans to continue being a principal and must demonstrate evidence of outstanding contributions to the community and the education profession.

The school they lead must be a member of the association, must be “clearly committed to excellence,” have programs that are designed to meet students’ needs academically and socially and must have firm ties to parents and the community.

The National Distinguished Principals program was established in 1984.

Labrillazo said, “I am really honored. It’s a great honor to be nominated and then to be chosen … I was surprised, but I’m also happy to be able to take a part in this.

“I am a humble person, but I know that when opportunities arise in life, you need to take advantage of those opportunities. I look forward to seeing what will comes about from all of this, just the experience of it.”

Labrillazo is a member of the Kentucky Chapter of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. One principal is chosen from each state to represent at the National Distinguished Principal event in Washington D.C., which will be held Oct. 11-12.

He said the application process (after being nominated) was pretty extensive.

“It was really a great time to reflect on my leadership style,” Labrillazo said. “It was actually a very long process with several essays. It was a great opportunity for me to reflect back on the last four years at Hogsett, especially now, when we are in the planning stages for Hogsett Primary (School).”

The application required letters of recommendation from Superintendent Keith Look, a fellow principal, a teacher from his school and a community member or parent.

Kendra Peek/kendra.peek@amnews.com
Leo Labrillazo

Via email on Tuesday, Look said, “Mr. Labrillazo’s meticulous and methodical approach creates a culture of professionalism that values responsibility, fairness, and authentic actions of putting students first. As Mary G. Hogsett’s maestro, one can see his arts background in how he orchestrates the diverse talents and interests of his school stakeholders and produces symphonic success. It’s invigorating to all he impacts in seeing him recognized.”

Labrillazo said he was looking forward to going to Washington D.C., which will provide him the opportunity to meet principals from other states, to see what they’re doing.

It won’t be his first trip there, but he thinks the experience will be something new.

“I’m really excited about it,” Labrillazo said.