Photo submitted by Mr. Ty Breitlow
Chilton High School Principal Mr. Ty Breitlow has been awarded two incredible honors: one of twelve 2019 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Principal Leadership Awards and recognition as Wisconsin’s 2019 High School Principal of the Year.
According to the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators (AWSA), the purpose of the Herb Kohl Outstanding Wisconsin Leadership Award is to recognize and support excellence in Wisconsin school administration. The foundation’s goal is to support Wisconsin principals in pursuit of their unrealized goals for their schools or professional development.
To be considered for this prestigious award is a process. First, a principal must be nominated by a student, parent, staff member, community member, etc. It was revealed during an all school assembly presenting Mr. Breitlow with the High School Principal of the Year Award that junior Kaiden Mikalowsky had nominated him.
“I first saw it on Twitter,” said Mikalowsky. “I thought he was very deserving. He is humble and cares very much about the students. He understands the students and wants to make sure they are comfortable and feel safe.”
Once the nomination is received, the nominee is notified via email and is given a link to the application itself. After the nominee completes the application, if they choose to do so, the application is reviewed for completion and is then sent on to the State Selection Committee, which includes representatives of the Kohl Educational Foundation, Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESAs) and others. From there, 12 public school Kohl Leadership Award recipients are selected and notified of their accolades in March.
“I am honored to be a Kohl Leadership recipient,” said Mr. Breitlow. “I got a chance to lead as part of the process — be a leader for teachers and for students — and I know how great some of the educators and students are in the state of Wisconsin. Knowing some of the things that we offer here, I feel like we offer as good of an education as anybody in the state.”
Mr. Breitlow as well as Chilton High School each received a $6,000 grant from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation, and Mr. Breitlow was recognized at a regional banquet held at Appleton North High School on March 30.
“(I’m) very humbled, very honored. I know that there are tremendous principals out there and to be associated as one of 12 of them is incredibly humbling. I’m so honored beyond anything that I could articulate.” Of the 12 recipients of the Herb Kohl Leadership Award, one is chosen every year by AWSA to be Wisconsin’s 2019 Principal of the Year, and this year’s honoree is none other than Mr. Breitlow.
“Again, (I’m) super humbled to even be thought of to get the Kohl Leadership Award, but then to be thought of as the Principal of the Year at the statewide level is even more humbling,” said Mr. Breitlow. “It’s surreal to be perfectly honest. It’s really, really neat.”
Mr. Breitlow will be presented with the Wisconsin Principal of the Year Award on February 13, 2020, at the 2020 Middle and High School Principals Convention in Wisconsin Dells. There, he will be presented with a $1,000 check to the school and a $500 check made out to him to help him pay for his trip to Washington, D.C. this upcoming fall.
He will be taking a trip to D.C. as Wisconsin’s National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Secondary Principal of the Year. At this conference, the NASSP recognizes principals and their outstanding work, and the organization provides an opportunity for the principals to share their experience and expertise with other principals as well as national leaders in education.
“Both awards are really, really neat in the sense that they can never be taken away from you and you’ll always have that,” Mr. Breitlow said. “Not many people outside of this building truly know what I do, and even a lot of students and staff largely don’t know what I do.
“To be recognized for all the Saturdays, all the Sundays, all the super late nights that I’m here doing the job to try to bring excellence to this school every day is incredibly rewarding because as a school leader you generally don’t hear the positive things about you.
“My faculty has done an amazing job in always being so thankful in what they see me do because they know I’m not here late at night because I want to be. It is because I’m doing the job I want to do and I’m dedicated to doing that job.”