Jon Konen

As principal of K-6 Lincoln Elementary in Great Falls, Montana, Jon Konen considers himself “lead learner” charged with creating empowered leaders in every student, teacher, and staff member. Despite a dramatic increase in the number of students living in poverty, Lincoln has managed to cut behavioral referrals by over 50 percent in the seven years since Konen became principal. This success reflects Konen’s dedication to building a positive school culture through a variety of methods, including using the High Trust Philosophy to structure and improve communication, the Olweus Prevention Program to combat bullying, and PBIS to guarantee all students have the social and emotional foundation necessary to reach their full potential. The combined success of these initiatives has earned Lincoln status as a Blue Ribbon School and local recognition as a warm and supportive learning community. When it comes to giving students and teachers the tools to step into leadership, Konen is creative and proactive. When the district introduced a new evaluation system for teachers, for example, Konen wrote a discussion guide to support self-assessment and increase performance. To encourage student leadership, he stewards community partnerships that offer funding solutions for student-led school improvement projects. Konen holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Montana State University, an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix Online, and a Superintendent Endorsement from the University of Montana.