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News for Marion Community Schools

Superintendent, MHS principal surprised with high honor

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
Marion Community Schools Superintendent Steve Edwards and Marion High School Principal Lennon Brown were surprised with a prestigious award Thursday night at a staff appreciation ceremony.

Both were awarded a Sagamore of the Wabash, which has been presented by Indiana governors since the mid-1940s, usually to those who have rendered distinguished service to the state or the governor, according to the state government's website. It is the highest honor the governor can bestow.

From left, Greg Taylor, state senator and Marion High School graduate; Lennon Brown, Marion High School principal Lennon Brown; Steve Edwards, Marion Community Schools superintendent; and Kevin Mahan, state representative, pose for a picture after Taylor and Mahan presented Brown and Edwards with Sagamore of the Wabash awards, the highest honor given by the governor of Indiana.

The presentations were made during a staff appreciation dinner at Meshingomesia Country Club put together by the Friends of Marion High School, a community group that has helped support and propel the widespread improvements at the high school - the very changes that helped garner Edwards and Brown the award.

In just a few years, Edwards and Brown, along with other school leaders, have turned Marion High School from a failing school in danger of state takeover to a school that is widely talked about as an astounding success story.

Edwards and Brown both came out of retirement to take their respective positions at Marion. Upon hearing news of their awards, both turned the spotlight onto the staff, the teachers, and the community, who have made the changes possible.

State Rep. Kevin Mahan presented the Sagamore to Edwards, and state Sen. Greg Taylor, a Marion High School graduate, presented the Sagamore to Brown. Both awards brought the entire audience to their feet in a standing ovation.
The award takes its name from the term used by Native American tribes of the northeastern United States to describe a lesser chief or a great man among the tribe to whom the chief would turn for advice, according to the state's website.

Among these who have received Sagamores have been astronauts, presidents, ambassadors, artists, musicians, and politicians. There is no record of the total number which have been presented, as each governor has kept his own roll, just as each has reserved the right to personally select the recipients.

Also honored at the event were retiring Marion High School teachers, including Dave Tippey, also a Marion High School alumnus, who expressed his gratitude to Edwards, Brown, and the Friends of Marion High School for helping bring MHS back to a state to be proud of.