Given what Jeremy Larson has done in the short time since high school, who knows how far he'll go over the course of his career.
The 2005 graduate of Wilmington High School is, if not the youngest, then one of the youngest principals in the United States, say his proud parents, Tina and Robin Larson, of Wilmington. The 25-year-old is in charge of the Mayo Middle School in Paris, IL.
The Illinois Principal's Association study on Illinois principals for 2010-2011 found that 45 was the average age of principals in the state.
"I am not sure if I am the youngest; however, I am very young for being a principal," he said. "Either way, I am very proud of my achievement at my age."
Since high school, Larson has worked very hard; he earned his masters degree from the University of Illinois with a specialization in educational law, was awarded the school's Outstanding Thesis Award, wrote two graduate law courses and presented at over one dozen conferences on educational technology throughout the state.
He has also taught business, marketing and computers, and was an adjunct professor for three years. Add to that writing a course on collective bargaining and law in a K-12 setting to round out the last seven years.
The Paris 95 Union School District Board of Education hired Larson to be the Mayor Middle School Principal in March. It is his first administrative position. The school has about 300 students.
"Most importantly, I love my job and the kids I work for," Larson said. "My philosophy is Knowledge for Service. Students need to be able to apply their knowledge into meaningful world concepts and this can be accomplished by working with the community and parents."
Larson believes he's proved the concept that if you dedicate yourself, you can accomplish anything.
"I plan on continuing to break barriers and others' concepts of what is possible," he concludes.
Larson has also been involved with the Illinois Principal's Association for three years. He is currently serving the organization as communications chairperson.