On April 24 and 25, Millwood Virginia-based, International Association for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Leaders successfully launched its inaugural leadership event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Nearly 100 STEM leaders from around the world joined IASL leadership. This invitation only annual STEM Leadership Summit recognized several attendees for their leadership in STEM education through a formal awards ceremony, including Stratford STEM Magnet High School Principal Michael Steele. The awards were presented to programs, schools, school districts and individuals who exemplify STEM Excellence as defined by criteria developed by IASL.
During the event, Executive Principal, Michael Steele, of Stratford STEM Magnet High School received the High School STEM Leadership Award. He is a Former U.S. Marine and law enforcement officer who later became principal. Stratford STEM Magnet High School was once a “turnaround” school because just three short years ago it was one of the most challenging schools in Tennessee, with high free and reduced lunch rates and poor academic performance among its students. Under Steele’s leadership, Stratford now has over 25 active business partners, and its student academic growth has been outstanding since Steele began to turn the school around. Today, student ACT scores have gone up year after year. Thanks to Steele and his team of teachers, the school now has over 2 million dollars in academic scholarships for its students.
The International Association for STEM Leaders is globally recognized for creating a “golden standard” STEM excellence in traditional and non-traditional educational settings for all Pre-kindergarten through adult students. In collaboration with global STEM leaders, the IASL will provide guidance for implementing excellent STEM programming and develop a STEM framework that is industry-based and globally recognized. In the coming months, IASL will host regional events to continue its recognition of exceptional leaders, through awards and to focus its outreach activities around regional education and economic development issues.
The STEM Leadership Summit was held in conjunction with the world’s largest STEM event, hosted by the USA Science and Engineering Festival. STEMconnector, the leading one-stop shop for STEM information participated as an initial sponsor and Edie Fraser, the founder, spoke to the IASL leaders and recognized them for their important work of impacting the lives of students every day through STEM leadership and education. Other partners include Diversified Education Systems (DES), a leader in “turn key” laboratories including: casework, equipment, curriculum, training and support. DES is further a collaborator with Root Cause and Pitsco Education, two additional partners of IASL. For STEM online education, Learning Blade and Career ATG offer career and STEM awareness, exposure and training to students. Finally, Concept Schools, a charter school management company and Vista Teach an early elementary robotics and engineering education company took part in the event as inaugural sponsors.