About Principal McGrone
My Life is My True Story
Michael McGrone Sr. is the former principal at Rich South High School, located in Richton Park, Illinois. In his first year, Michael revolutionized the school, bringing about significant reductions in physical altercations by 75%, and a 70% reduction in tardies. He also doubled college readiness in two years from 7% to 22%. Additionally, his work received national T.V. coverage on the Rachael Ray Show, which discussed the positive culture and climate of the school and highlighted the boys’ and girls’ mentoring programs. He is an inspirational speaker and professional development consultant who regularly contracts with school districts, social service agencies, corporate and nonprofit agencies to help improve the experiences of students across the country.
A native of Gary, Indiana, Michael has 16 brothers and sisters and a twin sister by the name of Michelle. Michael experienced numerous challenges throughout his life. He grew up at a time in Gary where the city was ravaged by drugs and violence. He lost numerous friends to gun violence and was a victim of violence himself, even having had a gun put to his head. Physically abused, failing third grade, graduating high school with a 1.2 GPA, and homeless his first year in college, Michael was enraged at the world and the cards he was dealt; however, he would push through his pain to eventually attain greatness. He would become the first African American Assistant Principal in Bishop Noll's 88-year existence (a Catholic school located in Hammond, Indiana). He would also graduate with his Master’s in Educational Leadership from Governors State University with a 3.8 GPA.
With over 25 years of experience working with students, Michael’s love for children would evolve over time after working at numerous group homes, psychiatric facilities, and alternative, private, public and charter schools. The struggles he encountered throughout his life gave him the tools necessary to propel students to achieve their potential. He ran numerous mentoring programs, including the Men of Distinction, ACE Tech Ambassadors, and Men of Valor, in which students would become successful in their own right. Michael has been a keynote speaker for various organizations, sharing his journey and thereby inspiring others. His innovative programs have culminated in dramatic improvements wherever he has served children. Michael’s unorthodox approach to education has drawn local and national attention. He has a unique way of inspiring others to succeed at a high level by using his own life as an example that anything is possible.