Dan Shea, principal of Quince Orchard High School, is this year's recipient of the Edward Shirley Award for Excellence in Educational Administration and Supervision. He will receive the award at the Third Annual Champions for Children Gala on Wednesday, April 20, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel. The event is hosted by the Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education (MCBRE).
The award was created by the Montgomery County Association of Administrative and Supervisory Personnel (MCAASP) in June 2003 to honor Dr. Edward Shirley, a Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) educator and leader for more than 30 years and the first full-time president of MCAASP.
Principal of Quince Orchard since 1996, Shea has his bachelor's degree in English literature from Georgetown University and master's in reading from the University of Maryland. He began working with MCPS in 1974 and taught at Julius West and Martin Luther King middle schools. He had been an assistant principal at Seneca Valley High School and principal at Westland Middle School before coming to Quince Orchard. He has two daughters who attend Quince Orchard High School.
Shea was recognized in part for instilling a strong sense of purpose in staff and students. Under his leadership, the school has improved achievement, added new courses, built Honors and AP participation, supported athletics and the arts, helped close the achievement gap, trained staff, and helped meet the needs of a changing student population. The school now offers a signature program for Advanced Study in the Arts and Academics. About 27 percent of the student body participates in the school's 22 AP courses.
Shea also has served on and chaired numerous committees that have served the school system, including the Honors and Advanced Placement Workgroup, Alternative High School Workgroup, and Academic Eligibility Workgroup. Several years ago, he served as the head of MCAASP while still serving as principal of Quince Orchard High School.
Throughout the school system and in the numerous letters supporting his nomination, Shea was recognized by his peers as a seasoned leader who also supports and fosters the potential in others. He “serves for the purpose of serving, not for his own ambition or reward,” said resource counselor Catherine Wilson. “This is the hallmark of a truly excellent leader.”