Principal Brian Downing receives Educational Leadership Legacy Award

Principal Brian Downing receives Educational Leadership Legacy Award

MILFORD, Iowa - Brian Downing, Okoboji High School principal, has received the 2024 UNI Educational Leadership Legacy Award. This award is given annually to a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa principalship, superintendency or doctoral programs who has demonstrated exemplary educational leadership as a leader of learning, service and/or change, core values of educational leadership at the College of Education.

Brian Downing receives Educational Leadership Legacy Award

Members of the UNI Educational Leadership team presented Downing with the award on Tuesday, May 28, at Okoboji High.  

Downing’s colleagues speak of him as an approachable leader with a progressive approach to secondary education. They cite his positive impact on student growth and achievement, a culture of excellence benefiting both staff and students and dedication to a nurturing and inclusive learning environment. 

“Brian is an amazing leader. His passion for creating a world-class school in small-town Iowa has helped our district attract and retain families, students, and educators from all walks of life and has helped our district be a model for what public schools can do to make a positive impact on the world!” said one peer.  

Downing earned his Master of Arts in Education in principalship in 2006 from UNI and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Iowa State University. Prior to joining Okoboji High in 2010, he served as secondary principal at Lisbon Community School District and a teacher at South Tama High School. He was named Iowa Secondary Principal of the Year in 2021 by the School Administrators of Iowa. 

The annual Educational Leadership Legacy Award was established with support of a gift from the family of Vernon Kirlin (‘46, BA), a longtime educator and school administrator, to honor his legacy of educational leadership.