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SIUE alumnus named Illinois Middle School Principal of the Year

Tron Young, EdD, has been named the 2020 Illinois Middle School Principal of the Year by Horace Mann and the Illinois Principals Association. Young is principal of Joseph Arthur Middle School in O’Fallon and is known for leading with purpose.He is a Southern Illinois University Edwardsville alumnus.

Upon learning of this statewide recognition, Young said, “I was completely shocked and surprised. I am honored to be selected as Middle School Principal of the Year. I do what I do because I think it is best for kids and the learning environment. As an educator, my goal is to motivate and inspire students to never settle for less than their best.”

“As an educational leader,” he continued, “I strive to create an environment that students want to be at and support teachers to be able to educate students to the best of their ability. It is my goal to have my staff understand that every student is one caring adult away from being a success story.”

Young was selected from a pool of region nominees who fit the following criteria:

-Demonstrates a positive impact on education and advocacy for children
-Ensures the school climate is positive and reflects high staff and student morale
-Moves actively to implement the goals and objectives of the school
-Works collaboratively with teachers and other staff to improve the educational program and student achievement
-Involves the community in the life of the school, and uses community resources for students

In its award announcement, the IPA specifically noted Young’s creation of the district-wide “Get on the Bus Tour,” where teachers and staff ride school buses around the community to meet with incoming students and families the day before school starts. He was also applauded for his weekly vlog, the “Friday Five,” and the implementation of student-led parent-teacher conferences.

Young earned a master’s and education specialist degree in educational administration from SIUE in 2009 and 2017, respectively. In 2019, Young completed a doctorate in educational leadership from SIUE. In spring 2020, he began teaching part-time in the School of Education, Health and Human Behavior’s Educational Administration program.

“My goal is to help aspiring administrators understand the role of the principalship has changed,” Young explained. “You have to create positive relationships with students, staff, parents and your community that you use to gain educational results. You have to use data to understand where you are, and use that understanding to lead a building towards continuous school improvement.”

Young is an active member of the IPA, currently serving as Diversity Chair and Member-At-Large for the Southwestern Region. He will be recognized for his latest honor at the IPA’s annual Education Leaders Annual Conference in October.

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