A news release:
Thomas W. Wrege, Principal of Trinity Lutheran School in Utica, was
selected as the 2013 National Distinguished Principal for the 2,000-plus
schools of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. The 2013 celebration marks the
30th year that the National Association of Elementary School
Principals (NAESP) has presented this prestigious award.
NDP Wrege was nominated from within his ranks and was selected by a committee, through a nationwide search process conducted by the LC-MS, said Dr. William Cochran, former Director of Schools for the LC-MS.
He received his Bachelor’s degree from Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska and his Master’s degree from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mr. Wrege previously held administrative positions in elementary Lutheran schools in Jackson, Michigan (Trinity) and Darmstadt, Indiana (Trinity). Previous to that, he was a teacher in Columbus, Indiana (St. Peter’s), Levittown, Pennsylvania (Hope), and Atchison, Kansas (Trinity). He has served as principal of Trinity Lutheran School in Utica since 2008.
Mr. Wrege grew up in North Tonawanda, New York to parents who were both teachers, William and Luella Wrege, Jr.
“At the helm of every successful school is a successful principal,” said Gail Connelly, NAESP’s Executive Director. “Our National Distinguished Principals program provides us with an opportunity to recognize the outstanding leadership of these principals and their commitment to creating successful learning communities. Because of them, students thrive academically, teachers grow professionally, and communities are strengthened.”
On October 24 - 25, Wrege and his wife traveled to Washington, D.C., for two days of activities planned to honor and bring well-deserved recognition to the elementary and middle-level educators chosen by the states, the District of Columbia, plus private and overseas schools.
Criteria for selection of the principals required that the honorees are active principals of schools where programs are designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students and where there are firmly established community ties with parents and local business organizations.
Mr. Wrege is a military veteran, having served in the U.S. Air Force. He has participated on Michigan District and Synodical committees, he leads his local group of sister Lutheran schools in the metro Detroit area, is a Van Lunen Fellow, and he has mentored new or potential principals in the Lutheran system of schools. He is known as a curriculum specialist and his school has had steady growth under his leadership. He loves the children in his care and teachers he works with are phenomenal. He has shared how blessed he is to be able to share the Gospel message each day! He is a prayer warrior in his service to the church at large.
Wrege and his wife Keven live in Shelby Township Michigan, and have three children: Caleb (24), Coleson (21), and Katie (15).
Mr. Wrege is also a member of the Lutheran Education Association (LEA), which serves and represents Lutheran education nationally, and NAESP-affiliate Michigan Elementary and Middle School Association (MEMSPA), which represents elementary and middle-level principals throughout the state, and maintains close ties with the metropolitan Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Elementary School Principals and its 20,000 members worldwide.
The National Distinguished Principals program is made possible through the corporate sponsorship of VALIC, an active supporter of NAESP for over two decades. For more than half a century, VALIC has served as a leading plan provider for K-12 schools, higher education and healthcare institutions and manages plans for nearly 25,000 groups, serving nearly two million plan participants.