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      Mark Hanson named a top principal in the state of Iowa

      Ottumwa High School Principal Mark Hanson was named one of the top three principals in the state by the School Administrators of Iowa.

      Hanson was nominated by several staff members last spring before finding out he was one of the three finalists chosen out of 1,800 participants.

      Hanson said his goal when he came to OHS was to improve academics by first improving on the culture and climate of the high school. Now that graduation rates are at state average and the school's IS3 rating has greatly improved, all that hard work has started to reflect in the data.

      However, though Hanson said he was thankful for the recognition, he said all of OHS' successes have been a group effort.

      "You don't get stuff like this unless that data you produce in your school reflects it and we've got the data to back it up," he said. "I'm the last guy in the world to claim that this is a one man show at all, it's the farthest thing from it. I enjoy this position and being able to plug in the pieces, but boy, I've had great support."

      A principal from Marshalltown was eventually named the recipient of the award.

      Hanson also accepted an award from the Iowa Cheer Coaches Association for Administer of the Year last Friday.