Darren Schlepp, Principal of Edgerton Elementary School in Kalispell, Montana, was selected as the Elementary School level recipient of the 2011 National Distinguished Principal for Montana at the 60th annual Montana Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals ‘(MAEMSP) Winter Conference.

The National Distinguished Principals program recognizes Darren due to the outstanding leadership and his commitment he has in creating a successful learning community. Because of him, students thrive academically, teachers grow professionally, and communities are strengthened. Darren is a Montana native and received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Montana State University, Billings. He received his Masters of Educational Leadership Degree from the University of Montana, Missoula.

Darren has been a principal for eleven years. He has been recognized for significant curriculum reform with leadership contributions including: School wide Title I process, RtI (Response to Intervention) process, an Autism Inclusion program, creating a guaranteed and viable curriculum by collaborating on a standard-based curriculum, providing grade level and staff development, actively participating in the Olweus anti-bullying program, and being supportive and innovative in technology integration. Mr. Schlepp has been instrumental in building a healthy, inviting school climate for staff, parents, and students by focusing on Character Education and the importance of understanding that our leaders of tomorrow, our students, gain from learning about different cultures and world issues. He has lead his school in embracing other cultures through the Arts and by addressing how each of us can positively contribute to the world in which we live.

One of the most supportive comments which showcase Darren’s professional and personal character is that he is gifted in working with others. “He has earned the respect of his staff and they are willing to take a giant step for him and with him. Parents find him approachable and his administrative colleagues respect his counsel.”

Mr. Schlepp has been both a State and National conference presenter over the years and has spoken on a variety of topics including Gifted Education, Effective Reading and Mathematics Teaching Practices, Professional Teaming and Collaboration, Safe and Civil Schools, and Response to Intervention Tiered Instruction and Behavior Planning.