Pella Chronicle

April 8, 2013

Knoxville educator 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.

This isn't the first time McNeill has drawn notice. Last year, he earned the honor of being the Area 11 representative in the Administrator of the Year contest.

SAI Executive Director Dan Smith said, “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.”

For McNeill, the honor is the payoff to a lot of hard work.

“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, ” he said.

McNeill has served as middle school principal at Knoxville since 2008 and was previously associate principal 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.