MASSP is excited to recognize Colleen Gruben, Assistant Principal of Warren Woods Tower High School, as Michigan’s 2020 Assistant Principal of the Year. She was the unanimous choice by the MASSP selection committee to receive the honor.

Gruben will represent Michigan as the state’s nominee for the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Assistant Principal of the Year competition, which will be awarded at the National Principals Conference in National Harbor, Maryland in July.

Ms. Gruben’s nomination was supported by many people in the Warren school community, including Warren Woods Public Schools’ Superintendent, Stacey Denewith-Fici; fellow Assistant Principal, Ian Fredlund; four Warren Woods Tower High School teachers and staff, and three of her high school students.

In her nomination documents, Gruben’s supporters emphasized how her compassion for the students and families of Warren Woods Tower High School is unrelenting; she spends much of her time seeking out community resources for her students in need. She has spearheaded a drive to raise funds for over more than Warren Woods Tower families who could not afford presents or meals over the holidays.

“Whether it’s buying a needy student clothes or meals or pushing all students to be more than they ever thought they could be, there is simply nobody who cares more about the whole child than Colleen Gruben,” said Mike Mackenzie, Warren Woods Tower High School Principal. 

“Her genuine passion for the students and families we serve is unmatched,” said Superintendent Stacey Denewith-Fici. 

Her fellow Assistant Principal at Warren Woods Tower, Ian Fredlund stated that “While it may not be possible to quantify the impact Colleen has had, you do not have to go far to find someone whose life has been made better by Colleen Gruben.”

To qualify nominees must have served in an Assistant Principal role for at least three years in grades 6-12. Additionally, nominees must demonstrate a sense of collaborative leadership, involvement in curriculum, instruction and assessment, as well as a personal positive involvement with district staff, students and families.

Colleen Gruben


Written by Wendy Zdeb, MASSP Executive Director