A Publication of WTVP

40 Leaders Under Forty


Megan McGann, Age 36

Principal of Stark County Junior/Senior High School

Megan McGann

“Megan McGann has transformed the academic and social culture of Stark County Junior/Senior High School. … Megan inherited a toxic school culture, infused positive energy (and) increased morale of both students and staff through a shared leadership model,” said her nominator.

In addition, McGann saw her school district through a $17 million construction project including a new high school. In conjunction with teacher leaders, she created a strategic plan for academic growth. Meanwhile, “no matter the race, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation and sexual preference, all students and staff are welcome at Stark County Junior/Senior High School,” said her nominator.

Outside of work, McGann has participated in the Community Night Out hosted by local first responders, Toulon’s Old Settlers Day, local Lions Club and Future Farmers of America events. She has partnered with local manufacturers and businesses for student opportunities in the trades. She is the secretary of the Stark County Education Foundation.

When McGann was younger, she played on the state champion Richwoods High School basketball team, then on the national champion Illinois Central College basketball team before finishing up at Bradley University.

Childhood ambition: “I always knew that I wanted to be an educator, just like my mother, Myra McGann. … The pure joy that the classroom brought to her was incredibly motivating to me and set the stage for my future.”



Advice to 20-year-old self: “Go with your gut.”

Unknown to colleagues: “Outside of my strong fear of squirrels and newly discovered farm animals, I’m not the ‘city girl’ that they may all think I am. I was raised on classic ’90s country, know every word to Brooks & Dunn’s top hits, and ultimately learned to dance at adult line dancing classes with my aunt and uncle.”

Bucket list priority: “Even though I have so many ‘kids’ I adore at school, I would love to build a family of my own.”

Best advice ever: “My father, Dan McGann, would hang up quotes around my room. … ‘Hard work pays off’ was the best advice he’s ever given me.” 

Motivating social issue: “The benefits of social media can be so powerful when used correctly; however, in the education world, we are seeing a growing trend of how social media can negatively impact students’ lives.”

Local inspiration: “My current boss … Superintendent Brett Elliott. … The positive impact that he continues to make in the education world … is second to none.”