STATEHOUSE – State Representative Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) joined State Senator Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) on Thursday to present Steve Edwards, superintendent of Marion Community Schools, and Lennon Brown, principal of Marion High School, with the Sagamore of the Wabash award.
“Steve and Lennon are very deserving of the Sagamore of the Wabash award,” said Rep. Mahan. “They are champions of education excellence who are passionate about educating young Hoosiers.”
The Sagamore of the Wabash award was created during the term of Gov. Ralph Gates, who served from 1945-1949. The award is one of the most esteemed honors the Governor of Indiana can bestow. It is presented to those who have rendered a distinguished service to the state.
Steve Edwards became superintendent of Marion Community Schools in 2009. He was challenged by Dr. Tony Bennett, former Superintendent of Public Instruction, to get Marion High School off probation. Steve took on the challenge and partnered with teachers, students, parents, administrators and the community to turn Marion High School around.
“Steve was able to successfully reverse the downward spiral of a once failing school system,” said Rep. Mahan. “His leadership in education will impact Marion for years to come.”
Lennon Brown began his role as principal of Marion High School in 2011. In the past three years, the percentage of students graduating from Marion High School has increased over 22 percent (from 68 percent to over 90 percent). In addition, attendance jumped from 91 percent in 2010 to 94 percent in 2012.
“Students know Lennon cares about them,” said Rep. Mahan. “He has built relationships with teachers, janitors and students and knows them by name.”
“Marion High School is a model for other urban schools,” said Rep. Mahan. “The work ethic of Steve and Lennon is unmatched and together they have put Marion Community Schools on the path to greatness.”