Stephen M. Waigand

Rock Port Elementary School
Rock Port R-II
Rock Port, Missouri

Stephen Waigand believes it is the small, everyday interactions that often have the greatest impact, a philosophy he enacts through a distributed leadership style that leverages the passion and talent of his team. As principal of Rock Port Elementary School for the past seven years, this has taken the shape of whole child initiatives implemented by teacher-led Blue Jay Teams. Rock Port was the first in the state to implement the Energy Bus for School Leadership Journey, with Waigand leading a staff process to articulate a common framework emphasizing personal responsibility, positivity, and love for others. From there, the school developed community rituals to reinforce these values and highlight students who embody them. The school has also emerged as a STEM leader under Waigand’s leadership, implementing Project Lead the Way to give students the tools to draw real-world facets across the curriculum. These diverse curricular and cultural initiatives have paid off academically. Rock Port has been named a Missouri Gold Star and National Blue Ribbon School. Waigand holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Missouri-Columbia, an M.S. in Elementary School Leadership from Northwest Missouri State University, and a B.A. in Elementary and Middle School Education from the University of Northern Iowa.