Dr. Tom Harmas, Camel High School Principal, has been named 2019 Indiana State High School Principal of the Year by the Indiana Association of State Principals. Dr. Harmas was awarded the honor at a banquet celebration on the evening of November 22nd. Dr. Harmas will now represent Carmel Clay Schools and Indiana at the National Principal of the Year program which will be held next year.
Dr. Harmas was selected based on this exemplary leadership exhibited at the school building level, district and community level, and at the state level. As principal of the state’s largest high school with 5,300 students and 700 staff members, his collaborative leadership has cultivated a supportive environment where students learn, grow and excel both academically and as young people of good character. He and his team are persistently focused on making a large high school feel small and more personal by creating opportunities for students to be known, connected and engaged.
Notably, within his first year as Principal at Carmel High School, Dr. Harmas recognized a need for mental health supports and resources for students and worked alongside the student services team to create the “Culture of Care” initiative. This program continues to reduce stigma and establish a positive awareness to mental health for students and staff. In addition, he has increased empowerment among staff through professional development opportunities called “Professional Learning Communities,” while also helping build a shared vision of leadership with Assistant Principals and Department Chairs.
“Dr. Harmas is the epitome of a school leader who has earned the respect and love of the student body, his staff, his colleagues, parents and the community,” said Superintendent Dr. Michael Beresford. “He sees every challenge as an opportunity to make CHS a better and special place for students and staff. We are proud of Dr. Harmas and we congratulate him on this outstanding achievement.”
An educator of 35 years, Dr. Harmas has spent 17 of those years at Carmel Clay Schools supporting students and families in the Carmel community. He served as Principal of Creekside Middle School from 2003-2017 and began as Principal of Carmel High School in the fall of 2017. Dr. Harmas is a graduate of Indiana University, where he earned both his Bachelor of Science degree and Master’s Degree in Secondary Education, He graduated from the Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals at Butler University, earned his Educational Specialist Degree from Indiana State University, and earned his Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Oakland City University.