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Richard L. Appel
Chilton Middle School
Chilton Public Schools
Chilton, Wisconsin

Personal connections that let others know they are valued and appreciated are at the heart of Chilton Middle School principal Richard L. Appel’s approach to improving student achievement and maintaining a positive school climate. With a school goal to prepare students for success through a balance of academic and social opportunities, Appel ensures that conditions promote this. He meets personally each week with grade-level teams and the guidance counselor to discuss student progress and establish plans for improvement. Other interventions include individual meetings with struggling students to learn their issues and whole-family support for students with cultural and language barriers. In addition to supporting staff through active involvement in weekly meetings, Appel leads a school data retreat team and helps staff navigate daunting challenges in education reform with a positive “can do” attitude. Welcoming parents and the community into the 345-student, grade five through eight school includes integrating a community leadership panel where local experts share personal experiences and leadership guidance with students. Beyond school walls, Appel supports the larger community through involvement in outreach organizations such as the Optimist Club, the Lions Club, Veterans and Memorial Day community celebrations, and a city-wide golf benefit for juvenile diabetes. Appel holds a B.S. in Physical Education and an M.A. in Educational Administration from the University of Iowa as well as an Educational Specialist designation from the University of Wisconsin.