Stoughton's Kruse named secondary school principal of the year - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Stoughton's Kruse named secondary school principal of the year

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STOUGHTON (WKOW) -- Stoughton High School principal Mike Kruse has been named Wisconsin's secondary school principal of the year, according to an announcement by state Superintendent Tony Evers and the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators.

When Kruse arrived at Stoughton High School in 2008, he saw a school ready for change, according to a Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction news release.

He led efforts among school staff members to use an Integrated Comprehensive Services model that provided accommodations, modifications and differentiation of lessons to keep special education students in regular classes.

The changes addressed Office of Civil Rights criteria and moved the school off of the statewide disproportionality watch list.

Kruse also helped staff address academic rigor, which led to increased graduation requirements, Advanced Placement offerings, and college-level courses taught at the high school.

Improved behavior and academic expectations, as well as the full inclusion effort, contributed to a graduation rate well above 90 percent, an “exceeds expectations” ranking on state report cards, an inaugural Award of Excellence from the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, and a Spirit of Excellence Award from the Wisconsin Association of School Councils.

Stoughton High School opened a FAB lab for students in fall of 2013, and offers Academic Homeroom, Service Leadership, Learning Academy, and Academic Study as supports for student achievement. “Very seldom do I ever say ‘I did this or I did that’ on how our school operates,” Kruse said in his application materials. “I always say, ‘we did this or we did that which led to our students’ success’.

In a letter of recommendation, School Counselor Ann Cook said that Kruse transformed Stoughton High School.

“He has increased staff morale and school spirit exponentially,” she said.

Cook attributed the turnaround to Kruse’s ability to get the most out of staff and students.

“He demands the best, but does so in a way that is motivating and affirming.”

Kruse holds degrees in science education and education administration from Northwest Missouri State University.

He also earned an educational specialist degree from the University of Wisconsin in educational leadership and policy analysis.

Prior to becoming principal in Stoughton, he was an associate principal in Verona Area High School.

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