Since he became principal of New Britain High School in New Britain, CT, five years ago, 2012 MetLife/NASSP High School Principal of the Year Michael Foran has been instrumental in turning around Connecticut’s largest high school. To improve staff morale and put a greater emphasis on student achievement, Foran focused his team on reworking the school improvement plan to better meet the needs of the high-minority student population. He established data teams and fostered a working environment that is based on collaboration and open communication.
Now, each of the school’s 2,700 students receive personalized attention through mentorship and support programs, a vast array of cocurricular activities and afterschool initiatives, and a newly added freshman academy.
"[Michael] has developed numerous programs to meet the social and emotional needs of our diverse student body," said New Britain High School English teacher Tara Gorr. "One might assume students could easily get lost in the state's largest high school, but as the motto states, there is 'a place for everyone.' Michael's leadership demonstrates a commitment to the needs of the students, the staff, and the community."
Community partnerships, in fact, are key to Foran's success. Devoted to preparing students for college and career, he worked alongside local business leaders to identify the 21st century skills students need to be successful--and he realigned the curriculum on the basis of those findings.
One of his most notable accomplishments is the opening of the New Britain Academy for Health Professions. A collaborative effort between the school and community, the academy was launched last year to increase job opportunities for students in the high-demand field of healthcare. Add the school's award-winning JROTC, culinary arts program, and STEM curricula and it’s easy to see why students at New Britain graduate well-prepared for a successful future.
"Under Michael Foran's leadership, New Britain has become a model of rigorous, personalized learning and a turnaround success story," said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. "He never loses sight of what's best for the students, both in the aggregate and individually--the kind of personalization that is central to NASSP's Breaking Ranks Framework for school improvement. We congratulate Michael for receiving this honor."
"We applaud Michael Foran for his focused efforts and tenacity in ensuring a high-quality education for all students at New Britain High School," said Thomas G. Hogan Jr., senior vice president of MetLife Resources. "His efforts are helping every student realize his or her potential and creating a brighter future for the community."
"It is important to recognize outstanding school leadership," added Dennis White, vice president of Corporate Contributions for MetLife. "The MetLife/NASSP National Principal of the Year Program acknowledges both the crucial role of principals as leaders and individuals who go above and beyond to make their schools the best they can be for students, teachers, and communities."