BHS alum named Elementary Administrator of the Year

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Jennifer Eberhart, BHS Journalism

Many times administrators work for many years with few rewards for their work, that all changed for Baldwin High School alumna and current Olathe Sunnyside Elementary School principal Amy Hercules. She was named Elementary Kansas Principal of the Year by the Kansas Principals Association.

“When I received the communication that I had been nominated and selected as the Area 1 Principal of the Year, I was in shock,” Hercules said. “I have had the privilege of being a building administrator for over 20 years and know the incredible leaders that have received this award before me. So, I felt honored to be a member of this incredibly special group of principals.”

She was selected out of 51 nominees from across the state. She is now in the running for the Kansas Distinguished Principal of the Year and will be considered for National Principal of the Year. 

“My goals in education have changed over the years,” Hercules said. “Receiving my Doctorate in Education has been a goal of mine and one that I may pursue after my two children Ryan and Charlee graduate college. I would like to teach future teachers at the college level, while continuing as a building administrator until retirement.”

After finishing high school at BHS, Hercules graduated from Baker University. Both of her parents worked in education. 

“I come from a family of educators and have experienced firsthand the impact an educator can have on someone’s life,” she said. “I have watched how an educator can transform how a student sees themselves and helps them to break through barriers to meet their goals. My parents, both educators, invested everything they had to each student. They modeled how a strong student/educator relationship could transform a student that may have made mistakes and been written off by others in their life.”

Hercules struggled with finding her passion in high school, but was inspired by her teachers. She hopes to have a similar effect on her students. 

“As a student that experienced challenges finding where I fit in high school, wasn’t a star athlete or high achieving student, and lacked direction at times, was fortunate enough to have a couple incredible educators that saw in me what I and some other educators didn’t see, a leader,” she said. “They invested the most important thing any educator can offer, belief in my greatness. It is both opportunities of experiencing amazing educators and having educators that only saw me through one lens that led me to pursue education. Both guided me and inspired me to be reflective in my role as an educator and constantly try to be someone special to the students and families I work with each day.”