FARMINGTON — Former Career Prep High School Principal Joyce Rock was honored in Washington, D.C., last month as the New Mexico High School Principal of the Year.

Rock joined other award-winning principals from across the country in the nation's capital for a Principals' Institute and Awards Gala on Sept. 18 to 21. The New Mexico Association of Secondary School Principal recognized Rock.

As a part of her visit, Rock met with several legislators, including U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich.

In May, Rock was placed on leave until the last day of her contract on June 12. Her contract was not renewed.

She has since filed a lawsuit against the Central Consolidated School District that states she was illegally terminated in retaliation for speaking out about the possible closure of the alternative school.

Rock spoke out publicly against the district's plan in May to close the school. Officials decided not to close the school after they learned of additional federal funding.