Randy H. Einem, principal of St. John’s Lutheran School, Orange, Calif., since 2008, is among 61 “2011 National Distinguished Principals” named by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP).
Einem is a 1976 graduate of Concordia Teachers College (now Concordia University Nebraska) in Seward, and earned an M.S. from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee in 1980.
This year’s 61 honored principals – 54 from public schools, five from private schools, and two from overseas schools with the U.S. Department of State – were formally recognized during an Oct. 21 awards banquet at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke at that event.
During the awards banquet – which climaxed a two-day gathering for this year’s distinguished principals — each honoree received a personalized certificate and a hand-held teachers bell with the inscription “National Distinguished Principal.”
In the brochure for the banquet, Secretary Duncan congratulates this year’s awardees, thanking them “for the outstanding work you do on behalf of our nation’s students and teachers.”
A write-up in that booklet cites Einem for leading “the transformation of three schools from conditions he describes as ‘mediocrity and status quo to excellent, outstanding learning environments.” That write-up refers to St. John’s Lutheran School earning exemplary-school status last year from the Synod’s National Lutheran School Accreditation organization, and notes that “Einem credits ‘extensive work and energy by faculty and staff’ for this honor.”
The Oct. 20-21 events included an opportunity for the principals to share information about their schools.
“It was so exciting to see and hear such passion and enthusiasm for the education and well-being of children … [with] countless examples of administrators striving to do what is best for students, without any thought of acknowledgment or recognition,” Einem wrote via email to Reporter.
“Over the two-day experience,” he continued, “I walked away with new ideas, great resources and new friends that have the same passions and goals I have. For me to be associated with such a fine group of school principals whose persistence for excellence is unyielding is both an honor and privilege.'”
Accompanying Einem for the award-related events in Washington were his wife, Karen, and William D. “Bill” Cochran, director of School Ministry with LCMS National Mission.
Cochran indicted that a National Distinguished Principal from a school in the LCMS has been chosen for each of the 28 years since the awards program started in 1984.
“It is an honor for the LCMS to have a National Distinguished Principal,” Cochran said, “because it recognizes the outstanding leaders that we have at our Lutheran schools. Randy Einem is certainly one of those outstanding leaders. I feel very proud [of his] receiving this distinguished honor.”
Cochran explained that each year, LCMS district education executives nominate principals for the “distinguished” honor. A team of former National Distinguished Principals from LCMS schools then selects the Synod’s nominee for consideration by an NAESP selection committee that names the year’s distinguished principals from private schools.
Posted Nov. 10, 2011