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Kurt J. Sutton
Orville C. Krause Later Elementary School
Armada Area Schools
Armada, Michigan

Under Kurt J. Sutton’s leadership, the third through fifth grade, 430-student Orville C. Krause Later Elementary School has been recognized by the Michigan Association of School Boards for outstanding Fine Arts, STEM, Green Club, and after school programs four years in a row. Principal Sutton’s fundraising efforts and leadership in forging community partnerships have been central to the school’s ability to differentiate learning through expanded curriculum and club offerings. The result has been a steady increase in test scores and Krause becoming a school of choice destination, with 25 percent of students coming from other districts to attend. Staff members and colleagues attribute the school’s success to the “strong protocols” Sutton has put in place for timely assessment and review of data and to the grant-funded classroom sets of mobile netbook labs which have given a boost to student engagement and differentiated learning. Powerfully committed to doing whatever is necessary to help students achieve, Sutton has instituted a flexible schedule with time for daily interventions, after school tutoring for students scoring below 20 percent on benchmark tests, and free summer tutoring for at-risk kids through Title I funds. Sutton’s teacher mentoring has also been termed “outstanding,” with several teachers receiving awards and one calling Sutton “a guiding force in moving us from isolated professionals to team collaborators.” Sutton’s credentials include a B. A. from Alma College and an M.A. in Education from Saginaw Valley State University.