MMCRU administrator receives state honor

Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Toby Young

REMSEN — An MMCRU administrator has been named the 2023 Iowa Middle Level Principal of the Year by the School Administrators of Iowa (SAI).

Toby Young, who serves as PK-8th grade principal with MMCRU School district in Remsen, was recently notified of the honor.

“Caring, straightforward, visionary, organized and mentor are a few of the words that describe award recipient Toby Young. He is an exceptional leader and an excellent choice by his peers as this year’s Iowa Middle Level Principal of the Year. Toby leads with his heart and makes decisions based on what is best for students. He understands how important it is for educators to take care of themselves before they can take care of others,” commented SAI Executive Director Lisa Remy.

In reflecting on the award, Young said, “Thank you to SAI for the honor of Middle Level Principal of the Year for 2023. I’ve had the opportunity to work with and learn from so many great educators through SAI and from the school districts I’ve been a part of in my 20-year educational career.”

“In my current role as PK-8 Principal at MMCRU for the last 10 years, I’ve been blessed to serve and lead a wonderful district, while working with outstanding teachers, students, support staff and communities. I look forward to many more years serving this great district,” he said.

Going from a teaching position to an administrator position was a natural progression for Young.

“Working in a leadership position was always something I was interested in. As a teacher and coach I was always leading an athletic program or involved in some type of leadership position that was working to move our district forward,” he said.

Young earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Northwest Missouri State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

His career in education began as a K-12 physical education teacher with the Farragut Community School District, where he spent eight years.

He then moved on to Fremont-Mills where he served as middle school Social Studies/middle school/high school PE/coach for two years.

Young said there are many things he likes about being an administrator.

“Working in a leadership role (only full-time administrator in the Remsen-Union CSD) allows me to work with so many wonderful staff members,” he said. “Having the ability to lead and learn from them is something I enjoy every day. Also, working with students PK-8th grade allows me to see their growth from day to day and year to year. Building relationships with staff, students and families is something I value very much.”

MMCRU Superintendent Dan Barkel describes Young as “a highly motivated competitive person, who also is highly organized.”

“All of those traits are very valuable for a principal, because there are many moving parts in the operation of a school building, and Mr. Young does them all very well.

“Mr. Young is also a fun person to be around, which is also valuable, because he needs to work with many people in varying contexts. Mr. Young also has high standards for himself, and has high expectations for others, so he leads by example, and urges those working with him to rise to their highest level while serving our students,” Barkel said.

Family ties had Young look at a move to Remsen.

“My wife and her family are from Remsen. The (6-12) principal position opened up at Remsen-Union in the summer of 2013. I applied and was fortunate to be offered the position,” Young said.

He served as the 6-12 Principal at Remsen-Union for three years, and for the last seven years, he has served as PK-8 Principal for MMCRU.

He is finishing his 20th year in education and 10th year in administration, with all 10 years in the Remsen-Union CSD.

While the Remsen-Union and Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn school districts have whole grade sharing, Young serves and works primarily in the Remsen school.

“RU and MMC are in their 7th year of whole grade sharing and our staff and administrative team works together in all areas of curriculum, instruction, professional development and extra-curricular activities,” Young said.

What does he like about MMCRU?

“MMCRU is blessed to have outstanding staff, students and supportive communities. I’m fortunate to work for and lead such a progressive district offering high-level learning and extra-curricular opportunities for our students. I’ve enjoyed my time at MMCRU and look forward to many years ahead,” Young said.

Barkel also commented on what it means to MMCRU to have Young receive the honor.

“First of all, all of us at MMCRU are very proud of Mr. Young, and we are very happy that the School Administrators of Iowa has recognized his outstanding work as our building principal in Remsen.

“Secondly, it helps people within our school and also those who currently do not have their children attend our school understand the very high level of education being provided to our young people at MMCRU. The fact that Iowa’s middle school principal of the year leads our school at MMCRU-Remsen makes it obvious to everyone that high quality education happens at MMCRU. We are very proud of Mr. Young, and we want others around us to know that if you are seeking a high quality educational experience for your child, MMCRU is the place to be,” Barkel said.

Young was selected for the honor by a committee of Iowa middle level principals. He will be recognized at the association’s annual conference in August.

Young also shared his school spirit by saying, “Go Royals!”

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