Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

April 8, 2013

McNeill is Mid Level Principal of the Year


School Administrators of Iowa

Knoxville — Brian McNeill, principal of Knoxville Middle School, has been named the 2013 Iowa Middle Level Principal of the Year by the School Administrators of Iowa.

Last year, he earned the honor of being the Area 11 representative in the Administrator of the Year contest.

SAI Executive Director Dan Smith remarked, “Brian McNeill models school leadership. He has focused teacher professional learning on developing instructional skills to meet the needs of all students. He has made sure that all students have opportunities to advance their learning—from those who may be struggling with reading or math, to those who excel in the classroom. Additionally he strives to build a positive culture with students and staff in the building.”

McNeill expressed, “Knoxville Middle School has been faced with many challenges in the past few years. We have been working through literacy needs as well as going through budget cuts. I am proud to say that I work in Knoxville, and that I have had the opportunity to work through these hardships with very quality people. Students, staff and the community have taken on these challenges and succeeded by improving our strategies and our teaching practices.

“Sometimes we forget to look back to see where we were five or 10 years ago. When we take the time to reflect, we really see the growth that we have made. This takes an entire team to make these changes and continue to grow in the future, ” the school leader added.

McNeill has served as middle school principal at Knoxville since 2008 and was previously associate principal there for eight years. His career began as a physical education teacher, athletic director and coach, and he served as a special education teacher for a number of years. He received his bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science from Northeast Missouri State University and his master’s degree in educational leadership from Drake University.

A committee of Iowa middle level principals selected McNeill, and he will be recognized at an awards ceremony at the State Capitol in May. This selection makes him eligible for National Middle School Principal of the Year sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and MetLife.

SAI, a statewide organization founded in 1987, represents more than 2,000 Iowa educational administrators. SAI's mission is to enhance PreK-12 education through effective leadership by school administrators.