Wade Norton, second from right, principal of Smith-Cotton High School, has been named the Missouri Association of Secondary Schools Principals (MOASSP) Central Region 2023-24 High School Principal of the Year.

Area high school principals, from left, Patrick Treece (Smithton), Rodney Edington (Green Ridge) and Jonathan Petersen (Cole Camp) surprised Norton with the honor Thursday morning at Smith-Cotton.

Among the criteria for the award are demonstrating a positive impact on education and advocacy for students; demonstrating creativity and imagination in bringing about positive change; and working collaboratively with staff to improve the educational program and student achievement.

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Regional Principal of the Year winners are recognized at the MOASSP Fall Conference, where a state winner is chosen and entered in the NASSP Principal of the Year Program.

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