Alan Goodwin, Walt Whitman High School

Why has Alan Goodwin stayed at Walt Whitman High School long after other principals might have moved on to higher administrative posts?

“I have a passion for kids,” says Goodwin, now in his 10th year as principal at the Bethesda school. “They make a difference for me every day.”

Goodwin’s commitment to students—as well as to his staff—is legendary in the school community. Perhaps that’s why Bethesda Magazine readers named him “Best Public High School Principal” this year, as well as in 2010. An advocate for reducing students’ stress, Goodwin implemented a pilot “mindfulness” program last fall to teach kids how to clear their minds so they could focus better in class. About a third of the school’s 1,900 students participated.

Goodwin, who taught for 24 years before becoming an administrator, “genuinely cares about the kids,” says PTSA President Jodi McGill, whose two daughters attend Whitman. “Everything he does, he has the students’ best interests at heart.”

Other Top Vote Getters: James Fernandez (Albert Einstein, Kensington), Karen Lockard (Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Bethesda), Michael Doran (Thomas S. Wootton, Rockville), Joan Benz (Winston Churchill, Potomac)