Ottumwa Leader is Iowa Secondary Principal of the Year


Mark Hanson, principal of Ottumwa High School, has been named the 2015 Iowa Secondary Principal of the Year by School Administrators of Iowa.   

“Mr. Hanson’s leadership is evident within the school,” said SAI Executive Director Dan Smith. “For example, during his time at Ottumwa, faculty and staff have provided activities to get more parents involved with the school, 10 standards for student success were implemented and the graduation rate has increased,” Smith emphasized.

“At Ottumwa High School, our staff has worked very hard to create a culture of achievement. Through our work on the growth mindset and our continued work on school climate, we have improved our academic results over the past two years. I have always believed that academic strides could not occur without a culture change first. We have worked steadily on culture and academics side by side for the past four years and with our move toward professional learning communities, we feel we are in a position to make great improvements in the future,” Hanson expressed.

Hanson has led Ottumwa High School since 2010 and was previously principal at City High School in Iowa City. He began his career as a social studies and English teacher for Waterloo Columbus High School. His education includes a bachelor’s degree in English from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in secondary administration from the University of Northern Iowa.

He was nominated by his peers, selected as the recipient by a committee of Iowa secondary principals and will be recognized at a governor’s awards ceremony in May.