Nipmuc Principal John Clements Named Massachusetts Principal of the Year.

Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 7.45.31 AMNipmuc Regional High School is excited to announce that Principal John Clements has been selected for national recognition as the Commonwealth’s Principal of the Year by the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators’ Association (MSSAA). This recognition is co-sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and recognizes outstanding middle level and high school principals who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession.  Mr. Clements will be honored by his peers at the MSSAA Leadership Institute at the Hyannis Resort and Conference Center on July 26, 2017.  Additionally, he will be recognized on the national level at The Principal’s Institute in Washington, D.C. in September 2017 where he will have the opportunity to share his work with principals from across the nation. Mr. Clements is also a candidate for National Principal of the Year.  


Mr. Clements is a graduate of Boston University who began his career at Nipmuc eighteen years ago as an English teacher. He spent seven years as an assistant principal and is currently in his sixth year as principal. Mr. Clements is passionate about evolving education to meet the needs of the 21st century. He is respected throughout the Mendon-Upton community and beyond for his commitment to evolving education.  His work ensures active, authentic, and innovative learning experiences for all learners.  His passion for his work at Nipmuc and dedication to continuous improvement has led to an expansion of innovative programming.  Most notably, he has acted as a leader of the school’s 1:1 learning program, established Nipmuc’s STEM and Humanities Scholars Programs, and supported the development of 21st Century Learning Conferences.  In recognizing this achievement, Maureen Cohen, Curriculum Director for the Mendon-Upton Regional School District stated, “John exemplifies the type of instructional leaders we need in 21st century schools.  His leadership in establishing our STEM and Humanities Scholars Program has been replicated by other schools because of its high-quality connections with students and community members.  In the area of 1:1 learning, John helped move his school to transformative integration of technology through his daily modeling of technology, consistent support of the teachers, engagement of student leaders, and strategic vision for technological change.  We are so lucky to have him at the helm!”


Through the leadership and vision of Mr. Clements, Nipmuc Regional High School has received many accolades during recent years. Nipmuc was named a 2015 Commended School by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, one of only five high schools in the Commonwealth to receive that recognition. The school gained membership into the National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools (NCSSS), becoming only the second Massachusetts school in this national organization that celebrates and connects exemplary STEM schools. In 2016, Nipmuc was named by Newsweek magazine as one of the nation’s top 500 high schools. This is the second consecutive year that Nipmuc’s leadership has been commended. Nipmuc’s Associate Principal, Mary Anne Moran, received the 2016 Massachusetts Assistant Principal of the Year award.


Beyond the walls of Nipmuc, Mr. Clements dedicates countless hours to the greater educational community.  He recently completed his sixth year and final term as a Commissioner for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), serving as one of 25 administrators across New England who establish standards and processes for school accreditation while guiding schools through the accreditation cycle. For the past ten years he has chaired accreditation visiting teams, leading groups of educators in supporting other schools’ improvement efforts. He acts as the chairperson of NEASC’s committee to revise the standards for accreditation, leading the work to update accreditation guidelines for NEASC’s 600+ member schools. He is the recipient of the NEASC’s 2016 Jacob Ludes III Leadership Award.  In addition, Mr. Clements serves as President of the Blackstone Valley Education Foundation, a non-profit organization that connects classrooms and educators with industry by providing innovative educational programming to assist students’ development of 21st century skills.


Mr. Clements is a believer in the power of professional sharing and best practices as a source of professional growth and development. He moderates a weekly Twitter chat, #thinktankED, connecting educators from different school communities through social media.


He has shared his professional work and the achievements of Nipmuc Regional in a variety of venues including the 2014 National Science Teachers’ Association Conference, the 2016 Leading Future Learning Conference, the 2015 Learn Launch conference, the 2014, 2015 & 2016 MSSAA Summer Institutes, the 2014, 2015 & 2016 Massachusetts STEM Summits, the NEASC 2016 Annual Meeting, Plymouth State University’s 2017 January Jamboree, the WPI STEM Education Center, and the 2016 National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools (NCSSS) Conference.


In receiving the award Mr. Clements stated, “I’m honored to receive this recognition. I consider it a credit to the phenomenal students and talented teachers that I work with each day. The strength of our culture, the skill and dedication of our faculty, and the capacity for innovation at our school have created a strong sense of momentum behind teaching and learning at Nipmuc. I’m privileged to be a part of an amazing community of learning.”

In recognizing the award, Mendon-Upton Superintendent Joseph Maruszczak stated, “John is an exemplary high school principal and a visionary leader.  He has a laser-focused vision of what all students need to be successful in a competitive 21st century economy. He has led substantive change that has resulted in Nipmuc being a leader among the most effective high schools across our state and country.  John models the highest standards, effective communication, integrity, and collaboration.  I am proud to have him as a colleague on my team.”


Associate Principal Mary Anne Moran, the recipient of the 2016 Massachusetts Assistant Principal of the Year award, commented on this achievement by saying, “I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to lead with Mr. Clements.  He is innovative, driven, and the consummate professional.  His leadership has brought innovative programming to Nipmuc, ensured that student voice and agency are top priorities, and earned well-deserved recognition for the great work happening with our students and teachers every day.  I could not think of a more deserving principal for this prestigious award.”


Mr. Clements and his wife, Elizabeth, are the proud parents of Ben and James, their 10 and 8 year-old boys and reside in Grafton, Massachusetts.


About Jennifer Doyle

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