MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – The Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals named David Sikes as its District 3 Principal of the Year. AASSP’s third district consists of more than 60 principals. Sikes was selected after being nominated by a number of other area principals and going through an interview process. Sikes is currently the principal of Pike Road High School.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” said Sikes. “I’m almost speechless. You know, you do what you do. I work with some great people. I have one job here, and everybody else makes everything happen. It’s great to be honored and nominated and just be here.”
While Sikes is the first principal Pike Road School’s fairly new high school, he has been an administrator for 19 years and a principal for 17 of those years. He got his first administration job at Sidney Lanier High School and held multiple principal jobs during his time in Montgomery Public Schools.
During his time as principal of Robert E. Lee High School, the adequate yearly progress goals increased from 14 percent to 100 percent. The school also started an automotive technician program and an IT academy and was recognized by the state for its improvements in special education.
“You need to spend about 90 percent of your time working on what you’re good at and about 10 percent of your time working on what you’re not good at so you don’t burn yourself out,” Sikes said.
Before Sikes began his administrative career, he was a college football coach at Auburn University and Jacksonville State University. He said he was able to apply some of the things he learned in coaching to leading schools.
“You try to keep things as simple as possible,” said Sikes. “Make sure they can do what they to and do it well, and try to expound a little bit at a time off of the things that they do well.”
Sikes attributes his success to his relationship with Jesus Christ, learning from mentors and presenting himself in a genuine way to build relationships.
“Whatever you do, you have to do it with your personality,” Sikes said.
Pike Road Superintendent Dr. Chuck Ledbetter said he is not surprised Sikes has received this honor.
“I see what he does every day, and I see the attitude of caring he has and the grace that he has to handle the problems that come along,” said Ledbetter. “In any organization, but especially in a high school, there are things to deal with. He does it in such a great way. His staff absolutely loves him.”
Sikes is now one of three finalists to potentially be named Alabama Principal of the Year. That decision is expected to be made before Christmas.