By Jean Seegers


ROSCOE – Prairie Hill Elementary School students and staff are still bubbling over with excitement after their Principal Kevin Finnegan was presented with the Golden Apple Foundation – Puri Family Outstanding Principal of the Year Award on Tuesday, April 5.

In honor of Finnegan’s achievement, teachers and staff all wore identical bright yellow “Blue Ribbon School-Golden Apple Principal” tee shirts for the presentation and through the rest of the week.

Finnegan, with his ever-present yellow pencil behind his ear, accepted the award presented by Sunil Puri, as teachers, staff and nearly 400 pre-kindergarten through fourth grade students packed the school auditorium cheering and chanting his name.

Pete Rehnberg, retired principal at both Rockton Grade School and North Boone Middle School, recalled

when Finnegan taught under Rehnberg at North Boone.

“Pete was a positive influence on me. When he decided to retire, he approached me about getting my administrative certification and applying for the principal job there.

“I was reluctant at first, thinking I would lose touch with the students,” Finnegan said.

He completed the certification process and served as principal at North Boone Middle School for two years before coming to Prairie Hill five years ago. He found that he has been able to continue to build relationships with both students and staff.

Following the award presentation, Prairie Hill School District Superintendent Wes Heiar entertained the crowd with a video he assembled showing interviews with current and former students who shared their opinions and humorous observations about their principal.

“Kevin is an outstanding principal and a great guy,” Heiar said. “His relationship with the staff is always a collaborative process.”

“He has a natural passion for those kids. Kevin has so much drive and energy. He wants the kids to be exceptional.”

“The award is a wonderful honor for both Kevin and the Prairie Hill School District.”


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