His school was honored by the state two years ago. Now it’s Barry Kamrath’s turn.
On Friday, the Bloomer Middle School principal was one of four people to be named by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as 2010 Wisconsin Principal of the Year.
Middle school students found out about the award a couple of weeks ago when Bloomer Superintendent Dr. Mary Randall announced the news over the middle school’s intercom.
Kamrath then went to supervise the student lunch shifts.
“I had 40 students hugging me all at the same time,” he said, chuckling.
Kamrath has 20 years of experience as an educator and has been principal at Bloomer Middle School for 10 years.
He said the award from DPI and the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators is a reflection of the backing the school has in the Bloomer School District.
“I think we have very supportive families in Bloomer and I’m blessed with a supportive staff,” he said.
Kamrath said he’s lucky to have Rita Hassemer as his secretary because she takes on duties that allow him to concentrate on other areas that need to be done.
The DPI and the AWSA honored Bloomer with the 2008 Middle School of Excellence award.
In announcing Kamrath’s honor, the DPI said he involves staff members in decision-making about what’s best for the students and school.
“Kamrath has provided opportunities for teachers and staff to contribute at Bloomer Middle School, including serving as members of the building improvement team, the Cooperatively Approaching Pupil Success committee, and the grade-level teams. Kamrath has helped ensure student achievement is at the core of all that is done at Bloomer Middle School,” the DPI said.
Students taking tests at the school receive grades of A, B or N. If they receive an N, the students work on the material again and are given another chance to show they have mastered it.
“Dr. Kamrath has shaped the school into a highly engaging place where teachers teach collaboratively and students learn in personalized settings. Academic failure is not allowed,” Randall told the DPI.
Kamrath has earned both a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s degree in music from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He received a doctor of education degree from the University of Minnesota.
He went back to that school on Friday to receive the Excellence in Leadership Award from the University Council for Educational Administration and the U of M.
For Kamrath winning the DPI honor, Bloomer Middle School will receive $1,000 from the AWSA. And he will receive $500 to help offset costs of traveling to Washington, D.C., in October.
As Wisconsin’s middle-level principal of the year, he becomes a nominee for the 2011 Met Life/NASSP National Middle-Level Principal of the Year award.
Going to Washington will be great, Kamrath said. But as for his chances of becoming the national principal of the year, he joked: “I’m not holding my breath.”
The other three state principals of the year are: Mike Cady of Franklin High School; Myra Misles-Krhin of Barlow Park Elementary in Ripon; and Jay Hausser, associate principal at Poynette Middle and Elementary Schools.