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South High Principal Finalist for US Dept of Education Fellowship
Mr. Mike Trimberger, Principal of South High School, has been selected as a Finalist for the U.S. Department of Education’s first ever Principal Ambassador Fellowship. According to the Department of Education’s website, the Principal Ambassador Fellowship program is meant to recognize the important impact that a principal has on instructional leadership, the school environment, and talent management. This inaugural fellowship will consist of principals from all over the nation.

Mr. Trimberger believes the credit belongs to the staffs that he has been fortunate to work with.  Their shared accomplishments with increasing student learning have provided him with valuable insights and experiences that he will apply in this national role. Trimberger said, “I embrace this opportunity to share what we have learned through our education reform in Sheboygan, to help improve public education across the nation.”

Mr. Trimberger served three years as Principal at Sheridan Elementary School where he worked with staff to achieve tremendous growth in the number of students reaching the proficient and advanced levels in the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam (WKCE). At Sheridan, Mr. Trimberger and his staff were able to drive change in the school by creating a positive culture of learning through Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and supporting Professional Learning Communities to address academic needs.

For the past two years, Trimberger has been the Principal at South High School, working with school staff to implement a multi-faceted school improvement plan including initiatives such as Response to Instruction, Professional Learning Communities, PBIS, and Career Pathways, among others.  As a result, South High saw an increase in student WKCE scores, with the improvement reflected in the 2012-13 School Report Card showing South High School improved its ranking to ‘Meeting Expectations.’

Mr. Trimberger is also the President and a founding member of Inspire Sheboygan County, a non-profit organization which exists to build connections between schools and businesses.  Inspire Sheboygan County is a collaboration of schools and employers working towards a central theme of educating our students to be college and career ready.  This organization helps connect what students learn in schools to the skills they will need to be successful in their future. Partnerships such as these are innovative solutions to providing students a 21st century learning experience.
Principal Ambassador Fellows will spend a year gaining greater knowledge of the content of key federal programs and policies, in addition to the context and process by which they are designed and implemented. Fellows will share their expertise with federal staff members; provide outreach and communication about federal initiatives to other educators on behalf of the Department; and facilitate the involvement and understanding of educators in developing and implementing these efforts at the federal, state and local levels, to improve the likelihood of their success.

“It is truly a humbling honor to represent the Sheboygan Area School District in Washington D.C.  I have been fortunate to be part of schools that put students first.  At both South High School and Sheridan we asked hard questions about how we can do things better for our students.  Our staff members are now being recognized for what they have accomplished,” Trimberger said.

The first class of Fellows will also be tasked with helping the Department of Education design and shape the program for future years to be more beneficial for the role of principals.

Mr. Trimberger traveled to Washington D.C. on Sept 30 for his finalist interview. If chosen for the fellowship program, he will spend time each month virtually collaborating nationwide as well as travel to Washington D.C. two or three times throughout the year.
Sheboygan Area School District Press Release
October 2, 2013