RHS associate principal receives state award
By Eileen Persike
Rhinelander High School’s Kari Strebig has been named Wisconsin Associate Principal of the Year. The surprise announcement was made Dec. 3 by representatives of the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators. Recognized for a leadership style based on the values of belonging, courage and making a difference, Strebig’s passion is equity.
“Equity work is incredibly important to me; it drives everything that I do,” an emotional Strebig said after the presentation. “I want to bring attention to the things in our educational systems that marginalize learners, especially our LGBTQ students, our indigenous students, our Black students, all of our students of color and students with disabilities and create a system where each and every one of them feels like they belong here.”
Principal Shane Dornfeld said Strebig is well deserving of the award.
“She works hard, tirelessly every day, she always has student needs, student achievement, caring about students, relationships always in her mind,” Dornfeld said. “I have no doubt that’s why the selection committee chose her.”
Strebig has served as associate principal at RHS for two years. She started a Link Crew program to empower junior and senior student leaders to help see and hear their peers by modeling what equity looks like. This includes an initial training that starts with a conversation around intersectional identity and belonging in communities. The selection criteria include a commitment to personal excellence, collaborative leadership, personalization, curriculum, instruction and assessment and serving as an established and respected member of the community.
Strebig will be formally recognized at the Associate Principals Conference in January 2021. She will also receive $1,000 for use on a project of her choice at her high school. Additionally, Strebig will represent the state of Wisconsin at the National Principals Conference, where the 50 Associate Principals of the Year from across the country will be honored.