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Principal of the Year


2018 Principal of the Year Information will be updated

January 5, 2018

Criteria and Selection Process | Principal Nomination Form | Assistant Principal Nomination Form
The Horace Mann Companies

Principal Winners by Year

2017 Principals of the Year

Elementary Principal of the Year


Kathryn Raasch, Wayne Township Preschool, Indianapolis

Kathryn is a graduate of Indiana University, where she earned her Bachelor’s, and Butler University where she earned her Master’s and Administration Degrees. She began her education career as a teacher in the Danville Community School Corporation before becoming Principal at Danville North Elementary. After 23 years as the principal at the school, she became the Principal at Wayne Township Preschool. During her time at the school, she has worked to maintain the highest standards, work that was recognized as the school was nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children in 2014. To help bring community partners into the school, she created Rock N Read in 2012.  Community members come to the preschool to sit in the rocker chair in the literacy room and read to the preschool classes.  Government officials, business members, local PNC employees, administration, Ben Davis University High School students, athletes, school board members, Urban League members, and others come in to share their love of literacy. In collaboration with the school’s social worker, she was able to implement monthly parent trainings, clothes closet, the Conscious Discipline program, holiday food pantry, Project Lifesaver for autistic children, and other ways to support the mental health of the children and their families.

Middle School Principal of the Year


David Strouse, Batesville Middle School, Batesville

Dave is the Principal at Batesville Middle School. He spent 14 years in the Greensburg Community School Corporation, beginning as a teacher at the Junior High School, then becoming Assistant Principal and then Principal at the school. He is a graduate of Ball State University, where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s. He has worked towards an inclusion model for Math and Language Arts in grades 6-8 through a Co-Teaching Model and has worked to develop a RTI Program for students struggling in those areas. He is always pushing his staff members to step outside of the box. His “Idea Bandit” concept has teachers visiting other classrooms to look for and “steal” techniques and strategies used by others. Through PLCs, staff members have the opportunity to learn from each other and share ideas in an effort to move the school forward. In working with his staff to “believe in better”, student learning is always placed above all else, as teachers and administrators collaboratively work to find solutions to problems and to continue to grow as a community.

High School Principal of the Year


Keith Fessler, New Palestine High School, New Palestine

Keith is the Principal at New Palestine High School. He previously served as the Assistant Principal at the school after teaching Spanish at both Avon High School and Eastern Jr/Sr High School. He is a graduate of Purdue University, where he earned his Bachelor’s. He went on to earn his Master’s from Ball State University and his Education Specialist degree from Indiana State University. He has worked to launch an Early College program through a partnership with Vincennes University, where students can earn college credit at a greatly reduced cost and earn as many as 60 college credits and an Associate’s Degree prior to graduation. He has also worked to create programs for those students with disabilities. An Essential Skills class has allowed students with severe disabilities to work with other student volunteers towards goals and learning. He also secured a partnership with Easter Seals Crossroads to host a day of Camp Ability each year, a camp for students with disabilities. Students spend the day with the football team members and grow together. In an effort to foster innovation among the students, he helped to design an Advanced Business Management class. The students in this class planned a distracted driving convocation for the student body, put on a “Senior Prom” for members of a retirement community in town, and coordinated “Dream Days” for special education students, in which students got to attend Pacers and Colts games, theatre productions, and other attractions.

Assistant Principal of the Year 


Jennifer Perkins, Center Grove High School

Jennifer is beginning her first year as the Assistant Principal at Center Grove High School. At the time of nomination, she was the Assistant Principal at Mooresville High School. She also was a teacher at Mooresville High School and 2 out-of-state schools prior to her time as an administrator. She is a graduate of Wright State University where she earned her Bachelor’s and Indiana State University, where she earned her Master’s. During her time at Mooresville High School, she developed a program for seniors that needed additional time to complete school work. “Zero period” and “8th period” was the beginning of a program that has grown into a true “senior period”.  This program is offered to any senior that is failing a class or needs academic assistance, and is offered twice a week after school both staffed by a math teacher and a social studies or English teacher. Each week parents receive an email notifying them of the tutoring that is available and their student receives a pass notifying them that they need to attend. Students that have chosen to not complete work must attend senior period to make-up work. In addition, she implemented senior week. The week between senior week and graduation, students that have not met the requirements for graduation are asked to come in to complete work so that they may be a part of our graduation ceremonies.