Conrady Principal Anderson Named "Principal of the Year"
Conrady Junior High School Principal Andy Anderson was named the 2018 Illinois Middle School Principal of the Year, adding yet another feather to his crown of amazing accomplishments this year.
The award is sponsored annually by Horace Mann and the Illinois Principals Association.
The self-effacing and humble Anderson deflected the praise from himself and instead put it on his staff, administration, students, parents and board members.
“This is crazy,” said a totally surprised Anderson as he walked into the school’s cafeteria to his staff giving him a standing ovation. “This is a direct result of all the hard work you do every single day.
“I am truly humbled by this,” he said. “I am very proud of all of you.”
Anderson’s wife Ivonne and the couple’s two daughters surprised him in a show of support.
District 117 Superintendent Jeannie Stachowiak told Anderson how proud she was of him and the accomplishment.
“Andy has done a phenomenal job as principal,” she said. “These awards are all the hard work you (administrators, teachers and staff) do for our kids. Congratulations.”
Some of the criteria used in selecting the Principal of the Year included: Demonstrating a positive impact on education and advocacy for children; ensuring the school climate is positive and reflects high staff and student morale; demonstrating creativity and imagination in bringing about positive change; willing to take risks to improve student learning; moving actively to implement the goals and objectives of the school; working collaboratively with teachers and other staff to improve the educational programs and student achievement; anticipating emerging problems and acting effectively to resolve them and involving the community in the life of the school and using community resources for students.
Anderson, who leads the 1,100-student junior high school, was recently named Junior High School “Principal of the Year” by the South Cook Region of the Illinois Principals’ Association, which is the largest region in Illinois. Each of the regional winners was eligible for the Illinois Principal of the Year award. All regional winners were eligible for the Illinois Principal of the Year award.
Anderson has been active in the Illinois Principals Association for eight years and has participated in the IPA Principal for a Day program by hosting local legislators, served on the IPA Awards for Excellence Committee, and attended South Cook region meetings.
Anderson also is involved in the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the National Title I Association and National Blue Ribbon Schools.
In addition to the Blue Ribbon Award, Conrady, under Anderson’s leadership, was recognized as a National Title I Distinguished Title I Award winner in 2014. He has led academic achievement in his school from the lowest-performing school in the district to the highest-performing school, developed innovative hybrid-model master schedules, led a three-year multi-million-dollar renovation project, achieved the highest level of Annual Yearly Progress in the school’s history and created a new student recognition program such as “Principal’s Breakfast” and “Parade of Champions.”
Anderson will be recognized at the IPA’s annual Education Leaders Fall Conference in October and will receive a $1,000 honorarium.
Last November, the junior high school was named a winner of the National Blue Ribbon Award as one of the top-performing schools in the country. Conrady was one of only 342 schools nationally to win the award, which is the highest honor a school can receive.
Less than one-quarter of one percent of schools receive this award.
Conrady won the Blue Ribbon in the category of Exemplary High-Performing Schools. Conrady was named as one of the highest-performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
Conrady was the only junior high school in the South Cook Region to win the coveted award and only one of nine Title I schools in the country to be named a National Blue Ribbon winner.