Congratulations to the 2016 Missouri National Distinguished Principal, Ms. Beth Houf!
2016 Missouri National Distinguished Principal, Beth Houf, poses with MAESP Executive Director, Dr. Michael L. Schooley, and NAESP State Representative, Ed Elsea.
Beth Houf, principal at Fulton Middle School in Fulton, MO, has been selected the 2016 Missouri Distinguished Principal by the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals (MAESP). Houf was one of 12 principals from MAESP districts around the state who were honored March 12 at a reception and banquet at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach. The event was held in conjunction with the annual MAESP Leadership Conference.
Ms. Houf completed her undergraduate work at the University of Missouri and the University of Hawaii on Oahu, and later earned her master’s and specialist degrees from the University of Missouri. She began her teaching career in Jefferson City and then moved to Fulton Public Schools in 2002.
In 2006, Ms. Houf was selected to be a part of the DESE Select Teachers as Regional Resources (STARR) program. The two-year program provided intensive professional development from leading educational researchers and practitioners. She spent a full year outside the classroom, leading personalized, professional development at more than 40 schools throughout her region. Her experiences with the STARR program illustrated that the success of a school hinged on the effective practices of school leaders. When a principal position opened in her district, Ms. Houf knew that this was the next step in her journey.
Ms. Houf began as the principal of McIntire Elementary in 2008-2009. Two weeks before her first day, she learned that McIntire was designated as a school in improvement. The stakes were high, morale was low, and the task was daunting. Houf was convinced the only way to reach the improvement goals was to work with all stakeholders—educators, administrators, students and families. Together, they developed goals, created action plans, established systems of success, and set the norm of high levels of learning for all. The hard work paid off and McIntire Elementary became one of the first schools to be removed from the state improvement list. McIntire has since been recognized as both a Missouri Exemplary PLC School and an award-winning PBIS school.
In 2015, Ms. Houf was appointed the principal of Fulton Middle School. Together, she and her staff are promoting and living the mission of Educating, Empowering and Engaging all Learners at Escalating Levels. Ms. Houf is also a leader outside her school as a facilitator for the DESE Leadership Academy and active in her local, state and national principal associations. She is currently co-authoring a book, Lead like a PIRATE with Shelley Burgess.
Ms. Houf will join more than 50 other recognized elementary and middle level school principals in Washington, D.C. in October for the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) National Distinguished Principals Recognition Program.