Story by Sarah Melchert
West’s principal, Dr. David Sharp, recently recieved the 2015 Prinicipal of the Year award for the state of Mo., an award recognizing his accomplishments at West.
The state of Mo. is divided into six sections and each area has a Principal’s Association. Other principals voted Dr. Sharp in as principal of the year within the greater Kansas City Principal’s Association. Dr. Sharp said, “It was a humbling experience.”
Dr. Sharp recognizes the students, the teachers, and everyone at West as the reason that he won the principal of the year award. Dr. Sharp said, “I knew I wanted to be a principal, but I never thought I would be principal of the year.”
Twenty years ago, Dr. Sharp said he didn’t see himself where he is now. “I was either going to be a police officer or I was going to be a teacher because that’s what my father did, and my family has a lot of police officers in Chicago.”
Dr. Sharp decided that he wanted to become a teacher because of the impact his teachers had on him, and he wanted to have the opportunity to help people and give back to the people that had helped him.
Dr. Sharp’s first teaching job was teaching science at Truman High School. He said he taught “Technical Physical Science and Introduction to Physics.”
“Education is one of those entities that’s continually moving,” said Dr. Sharp, “Assessments move, assessments change, expectations change.”
“I bet I switch directions, research said that I switch directions, probably every seven seconds.” Dr. Sharp said his job is different everyday, and it’s hard to establish a routine.
Dr. Sharp said that the best thing about being a principal is the success of the students and watching teachers grow and become “masters at their craft”.
Dr. Sharp has been at West for six years; first as an assistant principal for two years and principal for four years.
Administrator Frank Honn met Dr. Sharp when he interviewed for the assistant principal job at West. Honn said that when he first met Dr. Sharp he could tell that they were a lot alike and have become colleagues and friends.
“We’ve got some really good students that go to school here. We’ve got seven National Merit finalists, which is just awesome,” Dr. Sharp said, “I’m blessed as all can be.”
Nathan May, West’s student body president, said that Dr. Sharp interacts with students very well. He’s “professional, intelligent, and easygoing,” said May.
Dr. Sharp said, “We’ve got kids here from all walks of life. They come in to this spot on Ward Road, every single day, and they make it work exceptionally well.”
Dr. Sharp said he hopes to leave a legacy where people remember him “as a hard worker, and that it was always a disposition over a position, that he was good to the people, but tough on the issues.”