An alumna of Northern Arizona University was recently announced as the 2017 Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Secondary Principal of the Year.

Sharon O’Donnell was one of five principals to receive the Region Elementary or Secondary Principal of the Year title for 2017. She was later selected as the winner for Secondary Principal of the Year for her contributions to the educational program in the Department of Defense.

As principal of Ramstein High School in Germany, O’Donnell oversees the largest high school in the DoDEA, with more than 1,000 students. She aims to establish an environment promoting the student achievements and leadership skills of military children, whose parents are often deployed.

Thomas Brady, director of DoDEA, praised O’Donnell for the supportive space she has created for students.

“Sharon makes sure all new teachers and students receive a sponsor to help them adjust. Her school also implemented an ‘Adopt a Student’ mentoring program, in which teachers adopt students with academic issues and meet twice daily to assist with academic understanding and organizational skills development.”

At NAU, O’Donnell received her bachelor of science degree and master of science degree in education. She earned her administrative certification from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia.

O’Donnell will compete for the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ National Principal of the Year award later this year. The winner will be announced in October.