House Minority Leader Tony McCombie recently served as Principal for the Day at two local schools in her district. Her first stop was at Highland Elementary in Stillman Valley, where she embarked on a student-led tour of the school and read a book to a great class of students. Highland Elementary is a lighthouse school, a designation earned by schools that demonstrate the principal, school administration, and staff are engaged in ongoing learning and development as leaders while championing leadership for the school. McCombie’s next stop was at Meridian Junior High where she toured the school, met with educators and administrators, and admired the hard-working students.
McCombie also made time for a visit to Hiawatha High School in Kirkland, which was named a 2023 National Blue Ribbon School for overall academic excellence. Leader McCombie congratulated them on this accomplishment by delivering a special Certificate of Recognition from the Illinois House of Representatives.
McCombie is no stranger to the “Principal for the Day” program, which is sponsored by the Illinois Principal’s Association and works to get state lawmakers into their area schools to meet with administrators, educators, and students. The Leader has acted as “principal” in a handful of other schools in the 89th District; this week’s visits are part of a number that she will continue to participate in throughout the rest of the year.
“I am proud of the great schools we have in the 89th District and appreciate our principals’ work which makes it all possible,” said McCombie. “The principal for the day program is one I especially enjoy doing so I can see firsthand how our schools operate and what programs they offer.”
The Principal for the Day program is also an opportunity for principals and other administrators to build and refine their relationship with the Representative, express their concerns, and listen to updates about education-related legislation heading to the state legislature. Beyond this program, Leader McCombie has continued to engage educators and school administrators in conversations about education issues in Illinois. McCombie encourages an open dialogue between school districts and her office especially as education-based issues come up in the legislature.
“I recently held my second annual education summit to further understand the concerns of local school districts—it is essential that we continue to discuss how we can improve education in our community but also throughout the entire state,” said McCombie. “There is no shortage of things we can do to improve education, but listening to those who are on the front lines is the first step.”
McCombie’s education summit meets annually and gathers dozens of teachers, administrators, and board members together for a discussion-based event; this year’s event in Genoa served as a listening opportunity for the Leader and one for her to give legislative updates on what is happening in Springfield.