Dr. Tom Dodd, Principal
2018-19 is Tom Dodd’s 14th year as principal of Lesher Middle School, an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School in downtown Fort Collins, CO. Tom was recognized as the 2016 Colorado Middle Level and Secondary Principal of the Year by the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE) and Colorado Association of Secondary School Principals (CASSP), and the 2017 National Secondary Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). Under Tom’s leadership Lesher:
- Was the first Colorado school recognized as a 2017-21 Gold Level Bike Friendly Business by The League of American Bicyclists;
- Was redesignated as a 2017-20 School to Watch by the Colorado Association of Middle Level Education and National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform after being originally recognized from 2014-17 as 1 of 4 middle schools in Colorado and 116 in the nation based on Academic Excellence, Developmental Responsiveness, Social Equity, and Organizational Structure;
- Was redesignated as a 2017 Breakthrough School by the NASSP after being initially recognized in 2012 as 1 of 10 secondary schools in the nation based on Collaborative Leadership, Personalization, and Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment;
- Was a 2016 CHAMP School of Character for its character-focused athletic experience (CHaracter in Athletics Make it A Priority);
- Was a 2016 SafeRoutes to School National Partnership Hubsmith Award Nominee for its efforts to make our school community safer, healthier, and more active;
- Was 1 of 3 schools in Colorado and 48 in the nation recognized as a 2014 Green Ribbon School by the Colorado and US Depts. of Education based on Reduced Environmental Impact and Costs, Improved Health and Wellness, and Effective Environmental and Sustainability Education;
- Annually receives more school choice applications than any neighborhood secondary school in the 30,000-student Poudre School District (PSD);
- Expanded its Gifted and Talented (GT) program to nearly 30% of enrollment since 2012 and began an annual GT Summer Institute in June 2015;
- Completed successful IB Middle Years Program (IBMYP) verification visits in 2005, 2011, and 2016;
- Earned "HIGH" or "PERFORMANCE" ratings annually on the (CSAP/TCAP) School Accountability Reports (SARs)/School Performance Frameworks 2005 to 2015;
- Annually has high CSAP/TCAP/CMAS/PARCC test participation rates (98+%);
- Annually exceeds state averages on all CSAP/TCAP/CMAS/PARCC tests (reading, writing, math, science, social studies);
- Made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) via performance (hitting 34 out of 34 AYP targets) and participation without needing safe harbor or matched safe harbor in 2010;
- Made huge CSAP/TCAP math median growth percentile gains in 2010 (2008- 40, 2009- 39, 2010- 61);
- Piloted a Chinese language program in 2010;
- Transitioned from a departmentalized 7th - 9th grade junior high to a team-based 6th - 8th grade middle school in 2009 (Lesher's 50th year);
- Began a dual language (two-way bilingual Spanish/English immersion) program in 2009;
- Expanded our then school-within-a-school IBMYP honors track to school wide in 2008;
- Increased enrollment 250+ students over 5-year projections requiring wait lists and lotteries from 2007 to present;
- Changed from a traditional 8-period day to an alternating modified block schedule in 2007;
- Completed a 3.7 million dollar renovation in 2006; and
- Annually offers professional development opportunities such as book studies for CSU credit (Teach Like a Champion- Lemov & Atkins, Professional Learning Communities- Eaker & DuFour, Teaching in the Block- Canady & Rettig, Classroom Instruction that Works- Marzano, This We Believe in Action- Association of Middle Level Education- AMLE, Fair Isn’t Always Equal- Wormeli, & Making Differentiation a Habit- Heacox), IB workshops, Discovery training, PSD Crisis Prevention Institute, E Cubed and EL Achieve (ELA) training, Digital Innovator Program training, guest speakers (Rich Feller, Louis Mangione, Cindy Harrison, Jack Berckemeyer, Rick Wormeli, Sonny Lubick, Lisa King, Wendy Leader, Steve Schiola, & Lou Marchesano), Response to Intervention (RtI)/Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) training, Positive Behavior Support (PBS) training, 2012 National Assoc. for Gifted Children (NAGC) Convention in Denver, CSU Ropes Course, and sent the entire faculty to the 2008 NMSA/AMLE 35th Annual Conference and Exhibit in Denver.
Before coming to Lesher, Tom worked as the asst. editor of the American Journal of Education and certification officer for the Education Policy Studies Dept. at Penn State University (University Park, PA) from 2003-05 while pursuing his PhD in educational leadership and earning a superintendent’s license. He also received PSU’s 2015 Donald J. Willower Outstanding Dissertation Award. Tom served as the vice principal of Aspen High School (Aspen, CO) from 2001-03. While at Aspen, Tom was 1 of 5 finalists for the 2002 Colorado Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year award. Prior to Aspen Tom spent six years at Eagle Valley High School (Gypsum, CO) as the associate principal, a social studies teacher, and wrestling and football coach (wrestling: 69-29, 43 state qualifiers, 16 state place winners, 4 state runners up, 2 state champions 1995-01 & football: 2A state playoff qualifiers 1996 and 97, 2A Western Slope League Champion 1997). Tom earned his principal license while at Eagle Valley from Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO) in 1999. Tom completed two master of art’s degrees in secondary education (social studies emphasis) and in health, physical education, and recreation from Adams State University (Alamosa, CO) in 1995 while serving as an instructor of exercise physiology and leisure science and the graduate asst. wrestling coach helping the team to the 1994 Rocky Mtn. Athletic Conference and West Region Championships and back-to-back NCAA Division II top 10 national finishes in 1994 and 95 with 8 All-Americans and 10 national qualifiers. He received his bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in secondary education from Susquehanna University (Selinsgrove, PA) in 1992 while captaining the wrestling team and earning two All-Middle Atlantic Conference honors and four varsity letters. In addition, Tom has participated in numerous institutes and workshops. Of particular note were TED 2017 (Vancouver, BC, CN), the IB Academy (San Juan, Puerto Rico), IB Heads International Conference (San Francisco, CA), Art & Craft of the Principalship Summer Institute at Harvard University’s Principals Center (Cambridge, MA), Principal Leadership Academy facilitated by the University of Northern Colorado’s Tointon Institute for Educational Change, Leadership Institute for School Change: A Developmental Approach to Effective Feedback at Teachers College Columbia University (New York City), and Tom’s experience teaching English as a Second Language to middle school children in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico through the University of Colorado’s Bueno Center for Multicultural Education study abroad program.
Tom was recently elected to a 3-year term as CASE President-elect/President/Past-president in July after serving a 2-year term (9/1/15 – 8/31/17) as the Region 2a Director with the CASSP Board representing the school districts in the counties of Boulder, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Jefferson, and Larimer. He has presented at the 2017 IB Global Conference in Orlando, 2017 NASSP/NAESP Conference in Philadelphia, 2017 NPTA Conference in Las Vegas, 2017 AASA Conference in New Orleans, 2016 Blue Ribbon Schools Ceremony in Washington, DC, 2015 IB Conference of the Americas in Chicago, the 2014 and 2013 NASSP National Conferences in Dallas, TX and Washington, DC, and is a trained IB consultant, site visitor, and workshop leader. Tom maintains professional memberships with the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE/CASSP), National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE), National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA), and has been honored by former students in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. Tom’s research interests include influences on principal decision making, historical perspectives on school reform, choice schools and parental decision making, educator effectiveness/accountability, the master schedule/organization of time in schools, and school success indicators/ranking methodologies.
Tom and his wife Amy have two awesome daughters Riley and Chloe. In addition to spending time with his family and volunteering at his Catholic church, Tom is an avid college wrestling and football fan, Bronco season ticket holder, and enjoys whitewater kayaking, skiing/snowboarding, running, bicycling, fishing, and motorcycling.
Waren Morrow, 8th Grade Asst. Principal / Athletic & Activities Director
Waren Morrow has been a part of the Lesher community since 2007 and is entering his 11th year! The 2017-18 school year is going to be another great one on the always improving Viking Ship! Waren is looking forward to celebrating all that we have accomplished in recent years and continuing to see Lesher excel in every way (i.e. through academics, athletics, socially, extra-curriculars, community involvement, and more)!
Waren previously was a math teacher and coach at the middle and high school level. He has taught 6th-12th grade students and has coached football, basketball and track and field. Waren became the Assistant Principal at Lesher in 2011, served as Dean of Students for the 2012-13 school year, and is entering his 6th year as Assistant Principal and 7th year as Athletic and Activities Director. In each role he has learned to serve the students, staff and families around him, to meet their needs and to help each individual as they work towards achieving their personal best. As a coach, Waren explicitly taught character to his student-athletes and set character and integrity as his highest priority on every athletic team. In 2009, his football team received recognition as an Elite Team through CHAMP (Character in Athletics- Make it a Priority), in 2010, Waren was nominated as Lesher’s Rotary Teacher of the Month, in 2011, Waren was nominated by a parent for the City of Fort Collins Human Relations Award for his work on combating bullying and harassment, and from 2013-15 as Athletic Director, Waren supported coaches and athletes as Lesher won 3 District Championships and 9 Lesher students (of the 15 middle school students recognized in the entire district) received CAM Awards (Character Athletes of the Month). In collaboration with the Viking Community Waren has helped:
- Lesher to be recognized as a 2015-16 and 2016-17 CHAMP School of Character - 1st school to receive this award!
- Lesher to be awarded with the 2015 PSD Winter Sportsmanship Award - 1st school to receive this award along with Blevins MS!
- Support athletic teams as they created and implemented Character Development Plans!
- Promote Lesher and what our great coaches are doing by presenting to 500 community members at the 2016 Annual CHAMP Funraising Breakfast!
- Establish Lesher as 1 of 50 secondary schools in Colorado that were designated a No Place for Hate!
- Increase the positive climate and culture at Lesher as seen in our hallways, classrooms and through formal and informal surveys!
- Reduce disciplinary incidents across the board as seen through lunch detentions, in-school suspensions and outside-school suspensions!
- Increase Lesher’s athletic success as seen in almost all coaches being in-building, new uniforms, new equipment, competitive success on the field, court, mat and track, increased student participation numbers, and increased parent and community involvement, and more!
- Improved facilities and the feel in our building and around our campus (i.e. new flags in the gym, new Lesher banner on our field, quality Lesher Viking chairs for sports and school presentations/assemblies, developed new signage in our main gym with a designated student section- THOR's Hammer Zone, worked with PSD and Fort Collins Safe Routes to get a ZAP pole installed to promote health and exercise, continued work with facilities to ensure our field and outside our building is maintained and in excellent shape for students and staff, new Athletic Wall of Champions in our main hallway to honor Lesher's rich history, and more)!
Waren maintains professional memberships with the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE), National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), Colorado Association of Secondary Principals (CASSP), Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE), and National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC).
Waren and his family love living in Fort Collins. He, his wife, and their beautiful children plan on staying here forever and enjoy biking, hiking, swimming, fishing, driving through the Rockies, reading, watching movies, barbecuing, and spending time with friends.
Janice Martinez, 6th Grade Asst. Principal / Assessment Coordinator
Bio coming soon.
Lisa Crossland, Dean of Students (7th Grade Administrator) / Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Coordinator
Bio coming soon.