Juan R. Baughn, Ed.D.

Juan R. Baughn, Ed.D.

Dr. Juan Baughn has been a leader in education for more than 55 years, serving as a school bus driver, basketball coach, teacher, principal, superintendent, and more. His mantra of “climbing higher for excellence” brought North Penn High School to national prominence as an educational institution. As the former principal of North Penn High School, Dr. Baughn was a leader and role model for students, encouraging them to dream big and achieve.

Dr. Baughn attended Media High School, now merged with Penncrest High School. He received his Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education from Cheyney University, the oldest historically black college in America. Dr. Baughn then attended Temple University where he received both his Master of Education and Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. 

Dr. Baughn’s career in education began in the Darby Township School District in 1966, working as an elementary teacher and the head basketball and track coach. In 1970, Dr. Baughn joined the Chester Upland School District as the Dean of Students, head basketball and cross country coach, and eventually an Administrative Assistant to the Principal. In 1974, Dr. Baughn became an elementary school principal for the Kennett Consolidated School District, and then their high school principal. In 1987, Dr. Baughn became a Knight, joining the North Penn School District as principal of North Penn High School.

During his tenure as principal, North Penn High School was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education, an award given to schools that are among the best in the country. Discussing the award, Dr. Baughn said “While we were applying, I was asked what the plan was if we did not receive the award. It never occurred to me to consider that, I was so confident in the school and our achievements.”

Dr. Baughn was the first black principal of North Penn High School, a position that did not come without challenges. Featured as a “Pioneer of the North Penn Community”, Dr. Baughn said “I was blessed to be surrounded by so many people who helped me through the tough times.” As principal, he brought a sense of community and school spirit with him everywhere, leading by example to students and colleagues alike. Any student at North Penn High School during his tenure as principal can remember his pledge, “If you are ever alone and down and feel as though no one loves you, know this: Dr. Baughn loves you.”

Dr. Baughn concluded his tenure with the district in 1996. Upon leaving North Penn, Dr. Baughn remained in education, taking a job with Lehigh University in Bethlehem as a lecturer in the college of education, and working in their program of Educational Leadership both here and abroad. Dr. Baughn held several positions in the education field after that, notably as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Education for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Dr. Baughn retired in 2021, but continues to remain active in the community.

Dr. Baughn lives in Delaware County with his wife, Cherrie Joyce Baughn. His daughters, Kendra and Kia, graduated from North Penn High School in 1989 and 1992 with their father as principal. Dr. Baughn is a proud member of St. Paul’s Baptist Church in West Chester where he has served as the Director of Leadership Development, member of the male chorus, and co-chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. Juan R. Baughn, Ed.D., joins the Knights of Honor Class of 2024 as an educator, former North Penn High School principal, and a key part of the tradition of excellence seen in North Penn High School today.