Bates, who has served as principal at Herndon High School since 2009 and has worked for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) for 15 years, was also selected as a recipient of the Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award. Bates is one of 21 principals representing the public school systems in the Washington, D.C., area and private schools selected by the Washington Post for the award.
Bates’ philosophy: “We are educators because we are Hopeologists. Our world needs more Hopeologists, because children without hope become children without a future.”
At Herndon High, Bates has put that into practice. His mission for the school is”All Hornets are capable of Success…No Exceptions!”
“He believes in shared leadership and values the benefit of collaboration from multiple stakeholders, she said, adding that his administrative style offers many leadership opportunities for staff members while challenging them to seek strategies supporting the school’s mission,” said Herndon High teacher Claire Silva, one of the staff members who nominated Bates.
FCPS says that Bates’ mission “drives everything at Herndon, from the development of a professional learning community focused on student achievement via professional development for teachers, to the establishment of a curriculum support specialist who works with the instructional and assessment coaches to manage the school-wide data monitoring system used for academic intervention purposes. ”
“With his backing, Herndon High and the Herndon Pyramid have adopted the Kids at Hope program, a national program that inspires organizations serving youth to create an environment where all children experience success.”
Bates has also improved school spirit and unity by implementing the PRIDE (participation, respect, integrity, diligence, and empathy) matrix that is followed by students and staff. The word pride can be found throughout the school.
Bates engages Herndon students at a monthly pizza lunch, with wide-ranging topics.
“It is with each child in mind that he has artfully created an environment conducive to learning, fostering creativity, and personal development,” says teacher and nominator Stephanie Stewart said in a statement. “With each initiative, Herndon High School has experienced much success in creating the desired portrait of a graduate paralleling the FCPS initiative of developing the whole child. Our students are well-rounded, creative, and compassionate individuals who are challenged and excelling while making a difference.”
Bates earned a bachelor of science degree in therapeutic recreation from Slippery Rock University, a master’s in special education from California University of Pennsylvania, and an administrative endorsement in educational leadership from George Mason University.
He joined FCPS in 1999 as a special education teacher at South Lakes High School, served as a LEAD administrative intern at Fairfax High School, and was an assistant principal at Centreville High School and Herndon High School before being named principal at HHS. Bates currently serves as president of the FCPS High School Principals Association.
Photo: Herndon Principal William Bates/Courtesy FCPS