Southside Occupational Academy (SOA) Principal Joshua Long, of Beverly, was surprised the afternoon of April 3 with the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Leadership, with students roaring as he entered the school gymnasium.

The award "honors exemplary performance in school leadership by a principal or head of school who has had a significant and sustained positive impact on the school, created a culture of inclusivity, and delivered dramatic student growth."

Long is in his ninth year as principal of SOA, which is located at 7342 S. Hoyne Ave., and serves students with special needs.

He will receive $10,000, with $5,000 going toward his professional development and $5,000 going to a school project of his choice.

A full story will appear in the April 10 issue of The Beverly Review.