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Salute to Excelsior- Principal’s Perspective

We asked Excelsior Middle School principal John Christian his thoughts about the school and Linn-Mar.

principal John Christian

How long have you been the principal at Excelsior?

This is my 17th year, serving 4 years as Associate Principal at Excelsior, 1 year as the Principal at Wilkins Elementary and the last 12 years as the Principal of Excelsior.

What is the best part of being the principal at Excelsior?

Working with a dedicated staff who truly love middle school kids and understand their unique educational needs.

What led you to your career in education?

I had two teachers in 5th and 6th grade that made learning so much fun I just knew this is what I wanted to do. That led me to teaching 5th and 6th grade for 8 years in Macomb, Illinois and then I came back to Iowa with my Administrative degree to be a Middle School Principal.


What are you most proud of accomplishing at Excelsior?

Two things stand out. First, building a collaborative, caring and team focused staff that cares about kids. Second going through the journey to get to Standards Based Grading. We as a staff worked extremely hard to make this transition as smooth as it could be and believed it was the right thing to do for our students to be engaged and excited about their learning.


What is the one word that best describes Excelsior?

Everyone here is a trusting adult that cares about the whole student in both their learning and social/emotional wellbeing.


What makes your school unique?

We have a staff, and I mean everyone in this building, that are able to build strong working relationships with kids so they know that we can be trusted adults they can depend on and talk to about their successes and challenges.


What is something people don’t know about Excelsior?

Excelsior was the first school in the state of Iowa to implement Olweus (anti-bullying program). We have infused PBIS with Olweus to instill responsibility, respect and integrity in our students.


Why Linn-Mar?

Linn-Mar is a great school district and community!