r Nebo’s own Bart Peery, principal at Salem Hills High School in Salem, was recently selected as Utah’s Principal of the Year.
“Mr. Peery possesses all of the skills, knowledge, values, personality and work ethic found in an administrator worthy of this honor,” said Nebo School District Superintendent Rick Nielsen. “Because of his commitment to students and his focus on best practices, Mr. Peery is truly a leader among his peers. He is well-respected and loved by his students, community members, fellow staff and district leadership. His genuine concern for others, instructional leadership abilities, commitment to building positive relationships and ability to communicate a vision of success have enabled him to be successful in all of his endeavors. Almost every student of his that I ever visit with talks about their gratitude journal, their focus on the positive and their efforts to lift others around them.”
Peery fundamentally believes that happy, positive and grateful students and employees are more successful and productive in their current circumstances and throughout their lives. This belief led him to the research of Shawn Achor as summarized in the book, “The Happiness Advantage.”
Peery is an administrator who deeply cares for each individual student that is under his stewardship. He is constantly striving to be out amongst the students as often as his responsibilities allow. He makes an effort to get to know each student and lets each student know he cares.
Principal Peery has initiated a social media blitz that truly engages his students. The students want to be a part of his positive reflections on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. He is known for his hashtags #shhshero, #changingtheworld, #GoSkyhawks. When asked about his award, Principal Peery was quick to deflect the recognition and say that the award is truly about the students and staff at Salem Hills High. He is known to say, “I’m lucky to be a part of a great school!”
“I have known Mr. Peery for the past five years, working closely with him as a teacher and coach at Salem Hills High School,” said SHHS teacher Bart Thompson. “Through our professional relationship, as well as the friendship that has developed over this time, I have seen in Mr. Peery a man who cares deeply for the success of each individual under his charge. He inspires in his teachers and support staff a desire to be better and to care more. He inspires in his students a sincere striving for excellence and caring. He is an amazing administrator, educator and advocate for each individual at his school.”
Thompson continued, “Mr. Peery deeply cares about each member of his school community. Each day as he interacts with teachers before school or throughout the day he asks about our lives; he asks how we’re doing, he expresses appreciation to us for our efforts, he challenges us to make a difference. It is this last item — challenging us to make a difference — that I believe sets Mr. Peery apart from other administrators. He truly believes, at his deepest core, that he can change the world, and he encourages others to gain this same vision and act accordingly. He inspires each staff member on a daily basis to change the world in our own way. Each email, memo, in-service or faculty meeting concludes with the words ‘Make a difference in someone’s life’ or ‘Be a Hero to someone today.’ He truly inspires the best of his team,” said Thompson.