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Fremont Duo Earns Principal of the Year Honors

MUNDELEIN, Ill. – Two Fremont School District 79 principals have earned Principal of the Year recognition from the Illinois Principals Association (IPA). Krista Winkelman, who is the principal at Fremont Middle School, was honored as the IPA Lake Region Middle School Principal of the Year. Meanwhile, Stefan Ladenburger, who is the principal for Fremont Elementary School and Fremont Intermediate School, earned the same distinction in the Elementary category.

The IPA Principal of the Year Awards program annually recognizes outstanding school leaders who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students. The principals have made exemplary contributions to the profession and are acknowledged by their peers. 

“As leaders, Krista and Stefan care deeply about our students and staff, and are willing to go above and beyond to support our Fremont community,” FSD79 Superintendent of Schools Trisha Kocanda said. “They are buoyed by our amazing students and staff as well as a supportive parent community. Their recognition is a reflection of Fremont’s “better together” commitment.” 

Winkelman has been with FSD79 since January 1993 when she began as a teacher before becoming Student Services coordinator and then assistant principal prior to beginning her current role of Middle School principal in 2018. 

"It is an honor to receive this award on behalf of Fremont Middle School,” Winkelman said. “I have been so fortunate to work for 30 years in a district that has amazing students, dedicated and caring staff and a supportive community."

Ladenburger joined the District in January 2009 as the Middle School assistant principal before becoming the Elementary School principal in 2011 and the K-5 principal in 2013.

“It’s the students and staff and all the work we do together that makes my role amazing,” said Ladenburger. “I am grateful to the families, the staff, and our students for making this work so unbelievably great.”

By virtue of the recognition, both Winkelman and Ladenburger are now eligible for the same honor at the State level.