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Truman Leader Named Middle School Principal of the Year

Feb. 11, 2020

The Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals (MoASSP) has selected Dr. Michael Straatmann, Principal at Truman Middle School, as the 2020-21 Jim L. King Missouri Middle School Principal of the Year. MoASSP will officially present the award during the annual MoASSP Spring Conference in March.

Dr. Straatmann was awarded this recognition in part because of his ability to create a culture that fosters a community of learners.

"Dr. Straatmann's ability to collaborate with staff and build teacher leadership in his building is outstanding," said Chief Academic Officer Dr. Tara Sparks. "Also, he leads with integrity, prioritizing student needs, above all else. I've always been impressed with his ability to identify problems and find solutions that result in improved learning experiences for kids."

A Truman Middle School student said the following, "Dr. Straatmann is always providing surveys and asking us questions..."

MoASSP Executive Director Clark Mershon announced Dr. Straatmann's award during a surprise announcement on Monday in the Truman library. The selection was made from more than 800 Missouri middle school principals.

Dr. Straatmann has been serving Lindbergh families for more than 19 years. He joined the district in 2001 as a special education teacher before making the switch to Special School District area coordinator for Lindbergh's secondary schools in 2007. Dr. Straatmann also served on the district's middle school redesign committee, which successfully separated Sperreng Middle School into two middle schools in 2011.

In 2012, Dr. Straatmann was named assistant principal at Truman Middle School, where he focused on teacher collaboration. Truman was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School in 2015, and Dr. Straatmann transitioned to the school's top administrative role in 2016.

Dr. Straatmann earned his Bachelor of Science in cross-categorical special education from Avila College in Kansas City, his Master of Science in educational administration from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo., and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Maryville University.

Dr. Straatmann is now in the running to represent Missouri in the 2020-21 National Association of Secondary School Principals Principal of the Year program.