Two ISU grads named Indiana Principal of the Year

By: ISU Communications and Marketing Staff, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
December 1, 2010

Two Indiana State University graduates recently were named Indiana Principal of the Year, one for all middle school s and the other for all high schools in the state.

Chuck Muston from Mooresville High School and Ron Ward of Tri-West Middle School in Lizton were named during the Indiana Association of School Principals Conference. Muston graduated with his undergraduate degree in education from ISU in 1980 and his education specialist degree in 2010. Ward graduated with his education specialist degree in 2004.

"It was a shocker to me," Muston said. "I was not prepared for that moment."

However, he said the plaque represents the work of the students, staff and community of Mooresville.

"Every grain and fiber in that plaque is somebody's name," he said. "I did not do it alone."

Ward called the honor "a dream come true."

"What a feeling of accomplishment to be recognized by your peers, especially at the state level," he added. "I have always told both our students and staff (that) hard work gets rewarded. In this case, I was fortunate to receive the state honor."

Of the 54 statewide principals of the year awarded since its inception in 1992, 20 have attended ISU and the educational leadership, administration and foundations program for their graduate degrees or training.

"The ISU educational leadership program seeks to prepare school and district leaders, graduates who are skilled in managing change, understand the contemporary challenges affecting K-12 education, and use data to inform decision making," said Josh Powers, ELAF department chair. "Furthermore, their classroom preparation is augmented with substantial in field experience and mentorship through an intensive internship. These combined elements make the program unique in the state."

Terry McDaniel, ELAF assistant professor, said Munson and Ward are deserving of their awards.

"Chuck and Ron are very dedicated leaders who put the needs of students first," McDaniel said. "Both are leaders who are visionary and understand that to be successful leaders they must use the collaborative talents of the entire staff."

School goals for both men focus on the students that walk through their schools' halls.

"One of my main goals as principal is to have students want to come to school each day," Ward said. "If a student is excited about coming to school, he or she will be excited about learning. I want students to have every opportunity to ‘live their dream.'"

"It's high school so our goal is to graduate as many students as we can," Muston said. "We have a 97 percent graduation rate."

Of the eight students who did not graduate, four have completed certificates and four are still in school, he said.

"Our students are preparing themselves for that next phase of life," he said.

Ward and Muston praised the education they received while attending Indiana State as preparing them to become principals.

"In working on my EdS degree, I was introduced to the importance of data analysis," Ward said. "ISU took this to next level and gave me tools not only to look at test scores, but individual student tests given by the classroom teachers. I was able to share those techniques with my staff as we did several item analyses on tests."

Muston said the program gave him real world experience.

"They (the professors) have an interest in seeing me succeed," he said. "Because of their program and the people leading that program, I felt very, very prepared."

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/photos/1111345610_2KZdQ-L.jpg
Chuck Muston

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/photos/1108846608_QDCam-L.jpg
Ron Ward

Contact: Josh Powers, Indiana State University, educational leadership, administration and foundations department chair, at 812-237-2978 or joshua.powers@indstate.edu

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University, assistant director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or Jennifer.sicking@indstate.edu