Franklin Central Principal Kevin Koers remains in an elite group of his peers, having been named District 7 High School Principal of the Year for the third time. With the honor comes the privilege of being a finalist for Saturday’s State Principal of the Year award – won by Koers in 2005.
The winner will be announced by the Indiana Association of School Principals during a dinner program at the Downtown Marriott. The association recognizes outstanding principals who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession.
There are 12 districts in the state, with District 7 encompassing all of Marion County.
“It’s a humbling experience to be honored at this level,” said Koers, who views his main responsibility as providing an environment where students can learn and teachers can teach.
“I take great pride in seeing students reach their potential and knowing that I played a role in that success. I am so proud when I see my teachers going that extra mile to help their students succeed,” said the school’s 17-year principal. “Everything that happens in the classroom transcends to extracurricular activities.”
Before coming to Franklin Central, Koers, 62, served as an assistant principal at Decatur Central High and taught at Indianapolis Public Schools and Chartard. He has degrees from Marian, Butler and Ball State universities.
“My biggest challenge is trying to get everything done that needs to be done each day,” said Koers, who’s at the school about 60 hours a week, and that doesn’t include outside activities. “I’ll have plans to get 20 things done but something always comes along that is more important and needs addressing.”
That’s where having four assistant principals is a godsend. “We work well together, and we try to make sure that at least one of us is always at a school event.”
A nationally acclaimed and a Five Star school, Franklin Central is known for its academic and sports excellence. “Our girls cross-country and soccer teams won regional championships this fall, and our band and choirs are always winning awards,” Koers said.
Reflecting on his career, Koers noted that the biggest changes in education have come with the implementation of stricter accountability measures and the growth in social media. “But one thing has remained constant: Good teaching is good teaching; that will not change.”
While Koers doesn’t claim to know all 2,700 students by name, he likes to think he knows the first names of at least half of the students. “And if I don’t know their first names, I might know something about them.”
Koers has earned the utmost respect from his staff and students. “I have the highest regard for Kevin,” Assistant Principal Eric Gellison said. “He is always striving for excellence. I equate the success of this school to his leadership. He works hard every day, and he expects the most out of everyone.”
Senior Ryan Wilks said Koers is a great principal. “He’s is always there in the morning to greet us while holding the door. He offers words of wisdom every morning during announcements, and he closes with, ‘Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours.’ ”
Koers and his wife, Kristi, have four children, Nick, Karyn, Shannon and Kimberly, and eight grandchildren.
While juggling family and work can be hectic, Koers manages to find the time to make everyone happy. And as one might guess, his free time is spend with his family and caring for his yard and garden.