The success of his students is the driving force for Cape High Assistant Principal Kyle Bentley, named the 2020 Assistant Principal of the Year by Delaware Association of School Administrators.
“I would attribute winning this award to the great leaders we have at the state, district and school level, as well as our student leaders,” Bentley said. “Working with the kids every day is really what gets me going. It’s fun.”
With state honors under his belt, Bentley is eligible for national recognition. The National Association of Secondary School Principals will announce three finalists in February; the winner will be announced during Assistant Principals Week, April 6-10.
“It is truly an honor and a privilege to represent our district, the high school, and our Cape community,” Bentley said.
Bentley said he is especially eager to attend the National Principals Conference in July as part of his recognition. There will be leaders from across the country,” he said. “I’ll be able to network, learn and continue to get better.”
Bentley joined Cape in 2017, after working as associate principal at Seaford High and assistant principal at Chipman Middle. He began his career teaching at Julia de Burgos Elementary in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, where his minor in Spanish proved necessary in a school of bilingual students.
At Cape, Bentley oversees curriculum instruction and assessment for the Advanced Placement program, English-language learners, the English department, world languages and the arts. His Spanish background led Principal Nikki Miller to assign him the role that best fit his strengths, he said.
“We’ve seen a lot of success in our AP program,” he said.
For the 2019-20 school year, Cape High had the most students in school history participate in AP courses and take AP exams. Additionally, 98 students scored a 3 or higher on one or more of the AP exams - another district record.
Bentley said last year, Hispanic students were the highest scoring subgroup; three times as many Hispanic students took AP exams in 2019 compared to 2017.
Bentley also helps develop student potential through the Henlopen Leaders student organization. Student Josephine Mulveny said she nominated him because he makes an effort for everyone.
“From students to staff, he is there to help and support people as much as he can,” Josephine said. “He put so much of himself into the school and it is obvious to anyone who looks.”
Miller said she nominated him for recognition because he embodies everything an administrator should be. “He’s hardworking, dedicated, collaborative and trustworthy,” she said. “He uses data to make decisions, and, most importantly, he truly cares about others, especially students. I know the students are his No. 1 priority, and as his principal, that is also what is most important to me.”
Bentley is working toward his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Delaware, which he hopes to complete in 2021. He lives in Lewes with his wife, Ali.
“I’ve been getting hugs, high-fives and congrats from all the students,” he said. “It’s a great way to start off 2020.”