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Zach Dillavou is Iowa Middle School Level Principal of the Year

Zach Dillavou, Forest City Middle School principal, has been named the 2021 Iowa Middle Level Principal of the Year by the School Administrators of Iowa. A committee of Iowa middle level principals selected Dillavou, and he will be recognized at the association’s Annual Conference in August. Dillavou considers it an honor to recognized like this.

Described by colleagues as a decision-maker, collaborator, visionary and courageous leader, he has led major initiatives in 1:1 laptop distribution to students full-scale in 2011, a focus on literacy and standards-based learning. School Administrators of Iowa Executive Director Roark Horn said, “Congratulations to Zach Dillavou for being selected by his peers as Iowa Middle Level Principal of the Year! Zach is a model of what every school leader aspires to be: influential, impactful and inspirational. He figures out ways to help all his staff reach each student, creating a culture where learning flourishes at all times.” 

Superintendent Darwin Lehmann added, “Zach Dillavou is an outstanding administrator and his actions are always about what is best for all students. He has an amazing gift with regard to his ability to connect with kids and places a high focus on character and team-building activities between students and faculty. Under his leadership, the Forest City Middle School ranks as a ”High Performing” school (Iowa School Performance Profiles), and is just .94 points away from Iowa’s top “Exceptional” ranking.” 

Dillavou has served as Forest City’s middle school principal since 2008. He previously served as high school associate principal/activities director beginning in 2004. He began his teaching career as a fifth grade teacher at Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock Community School District. He received his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Buena Vista University and his master’s degree in educational leadership from Drake University. 

SAI, a statewide organization founded in 1987, represents more than 1,800 Iowa educational administrators. SAI’s mission is to support, encourage and develop Iowa’s educational leaders and learners. 


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