Archive for Thursday, March 8, 2007

Ludwig taking charge at LTMS

March 8, 2007

The next principal of Lexington Trails Middle School won't need an introduction to much of the community.

"I'm coming home," Steve Ludwig said. "It was a great school with a great staff when I was there. I know Mark has done a great job of developing programs there and it shows in state assessment scores."

The De Soto USD 232 Board of Education approved the appointment Monday of Ludwig as principal of the school. He will succeed Mark Schmidt, who was promoted earlier this year to district human resources director after a nine-year stint as principal at Lexington Trails.

Ludwig, now the associate principal at Mill Valley High School, started his administrative career as associate principal at Lexington Trails in 1996 and remained in that position for five years.

With the opening of Mill Creek Middle School in August, the enrollment of Lexington Trails will drop about 100 students from its current enrollment of 484. With that. Some Lexington Trails teachers will take posts in the new school.

"They've developed such a family atmosphere over there," Ludwig said. "When you loss staff to fill the new building, that always creates a bit of angst. Building back that family atmosphere will be one of the challenges we will have to face."

It could also affect also have an affect on the school's quest to continue its success on state assessment tests. A higher percentage of the school's students be from De Soto and move up from Starside Elementary School, which has the highest percent of students in the district on free and reduced lunch who traditionally score lower on assessment tests.

"That will certainly impact where things go," Ludwig said. "I really have not had a chance to look at the numbers and how the students leaving will impact assessments. "Certainly something we will look at as we look to continue meeting standards that have been set."

But Ludwig said the success on the assessments proved teachers and administrators at Lexington Trails were doing a good job at improving the test scores of all students. The standard of excellence standards the school has attained allow very low percentages of students not performing, he said.

"I have a sense they have been bringing up the test scores of lower-range students because the number of those students has to be pretty small," he said.

Ludwig earned his bachelor's degree in communication arts from Kansas University. He later earned his master's in educational administration

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