Dr. Jay Dostal: #OwnYourEpic

Jeff PrickettPrincipal Leadership Lab Podcast

Join Adam & Jeff as we chat with our friend and colleague, 2x Principal of the Year in TWO different states – Dr. Jay Dostal, principal of Fayetteville High School.

Dostal received the 2016 Nebraska State Association of Secondary Principals (NSASSP) Principal of the Year award, as well as the 2013 National Association of Student Councils Principal of the Year award.

Dostal, in his third year as principal at FHS, was presented with the award on Wednesday morning in a surprise ceremony at the school.

“Dr. Dostal has provided incredible leadership to the students and staff at Fayetteville High School.  With the continued pandemic, the 2020-2021 school year presented challenges,” said superintendent Dr. John L Colbert. “Dr. Dostal led his team to meet those challenges, and they have had an extraordinarily successful year of school. This recognition is well deserved for an outstanding job. Dr. Dostal likes to say ‘Own your epic,’ and he is certainly leading by example!”



Leadership Journey

ELA and Physical Education and desired to coach football.

Salary was a motivator to move into a formal leadership role.

AP, to principal and enjoyed the journey along the way.

“Go after what you want – stop applying for just any leadership role”

Fit is everything. I can find skill, but fit is critical.

Be picky when choosing your job offer.

Value-Added Feedback – 1st book

Own Your Epic: Leadership Lessons in Owning Your Voice & Your Story

Began on a road trip from Nebraska to Cali to Washington and back again, “National Lampoonesque.”

Every one of us is a hero in our own story

Started out as a blog and newsletter to the school – “Here is how we are owning our epic as a school.”

Find something that is cathartic and reflective and therapeutic – writing has been that for all three of us.

Email Gems – curated emails from people, shared with leadership students. Had students respond (names redacted) on Blackboard. GREAT leadership lesson – real world!

Leadership Challenge/Opportunity

2016 was the worst year of his professional life.  Three students committed suicide, one student lost their life in a fire, and a beloved staff member lost their battle with cancer while opening a new building.


Our future is bright.  Jay sees the best of our future at his school despite the obstacles that are present.  We have amazing kids.




Jay on Twitter



Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt


Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt


Principal Leadership Lab

Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt


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