The principal of Westbrook Middle School was recognized Monday as the best in the state at what he does.

The Maine Principals’ Association named Matt Nelson the 2014 Middle Level Principal of the Year.

The principals’ association called Nelson “a tireless advocate for the students and staff” who “has focused the attention of the school on student achievement, using datat effectively to impact growth.”

“He is visible and energetic, recognizing tat school success depends largely on the quality of relationships and the health of the school culture,” said MPA Excutive Director Richard Durost.

Nelson was surprised with recognition Monday morning at a school-wide assembly.

“We are very proud of Matt and this well deserved honor, said Superintendent Marc Gousse.

Nelson, who has a bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College and a master’s degree from the University of Southern Maine, has been the middle school principal since 2010. Before that, he was an assistant principal at Westbrook High School.

Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at: [email protected]Twitter: @lesliebridgers