Horace Mann and Illinois Principals Association Announce 2022 Illinois Middle School Principal of the Year

Horace Mann and the Illinois Principals Association are pleased to announce that Dr. Keith Wood, principal of Brooks Middle School in Bolingbrook, has been named the 2022 Illinois Middle School Principal of the Year.
The award recognizes middle school principals who have demonstrated a positive impact on their students and learning community. Criteria for the award include:

• Demonstrates a positive impact on education and advocacy for children
• Ensures the school climate is positive and reflects high staff and student morale
• Moves actively to implement the goals and objectives of the school
• Works collaboratively with teachers and other staff to improve the educational program and
student achievement
• Involves the community in the life of the school and uses community resources for students.

Keith Wood has served as principal at Brooks Middle School for the last 10 years. He previously served as principal and assistant principal at MacArthur Middle School in Berkley and has served as an adjunct
professor at Concordia University. Wood has been an active member of the Illinois Principals Association and has served as Three Rivers Region Membership Chair, Three Rivers Legislative Chair, and Three Rivers
Diversity & Equity Chair.
Wood shared, “Principals must exhibit a variety of competencies to be effective leaders. First and foremost a school leader needs to be mission driven. Any work we do is driven by a mission that has been collaboratively
developed by a variety of stakeholders. Another competency is being an agent and manager of systems change. Through my leadership of school improvement teams, I can, with the help of others, determine the
types of professional learning that need to occur for teachers to perform at a high level. Finally, I believe that I consistently promote a culture of high expectations where students are expected to learn and grow. I
consistently challenge my staff to see the very best in our students and the community we serve.”

“Dr. Wood is supportive of his students, staff and community,” said Dr. Jason Pascavage, principal of Bolingbrook High School. “Dr. Wood plays a key role in students receiving supplies, tutoring and social emotional learning through the local H2O, which is a local non-profit that supports students. Keith has been an integral part of our Principal leadership team and is one of the original administrators that brought our
most successful reading and writing interventions to the district.”

“H2O (Heart Haven OutReach) has been working closely with Brooks Middle School since 2016,” shared Ryan Lawrence, Executive Director of H2O. “Dr. Wood and his team seem to be on the forefront of knowing how to
address struggles and difficulties their students are facing and are always willing to do the extra work to ensure the students receive the support they need. Dr. Wood inspires and leads a team of administrators and
educators, day in and day out, to give the best of themselves with the talents they each possess. He has helped many individuals realize their potential and has given them the guidance to educate students at a high
level of excellence.”

The Middle School Principal of the Year winner was selected from a pool of region nominees provided by the 21 Regions of the Illinois Principals Association. Dr. Keith Wood will be recognized at the IPA’s annual
Education Leaders Annual Conference in October 2022. Horace Mann — the largest national multiline insurance company focusing on educators’ financial needs – provides auto and homeowners insurance, retirement annuities, life insurance and other financial solutions. “Founded by Educators for Educators” in 1945, the company is headquartered in Springfield, Ill. Visit www.horacemann.com for more information.