MADISON — The Association of Wisconsin School Administrators has named Stephanie Filter its 2022 Wisconsin Elementary Principal of the Year. She was presented with the award during a surprise ceremony on April 14

Filter, who has served as the principal of Madison Elementary in the School District of Janesville for the past eight years, is known as a collaborative leader who focuses on bringing people together around shared goals. Over the years, Principal Filter and the staff at Madison worked to identify efforts that would lead to improved educational outcomes by employing research-proven programs and developing a positive culture.  Filter attended Madison Elementary School as a child.

A former social worker, Principal Filter worked with a team at Madison Elementary to collaboratively rewrite the school’s mission statement and ensure that students understand it. While students’ needs are ever-changing and the pandemic has introduced new challenges, Madison Elementary School staff, under Principal Filter’s leadership, have developed a culture of positive problem solving and an ongoing focus on the school’s mission.

“We are thrilled to name Stephanie Filter as this year’s Elementary Principal of the Year. By focussing on bringing a school community together around a shared vision and employing thoughtful, research-proven efforts, Stephanie Filter is truly an outstanding educational leader,” said Jim Lynch, executive director of AWSA. “Beyond the academic success of her students, Stephanie Filter has a track record of success in meeting the needs of all of her students, including her most vulnerable

students. ”

Each year, AWSA asks teachers, parents, staff and administrators to nominate principals for the award.

The winners are selected by a committee made up of representatives from AWSA, the Wisconsin

Department of Public Instruction, the Wisconsin Association of School Boards and the Wisconsin PTA.

Before becoming principal of Madison Elementary in 2014, Filter served as a Student Services

Specialist and Dean of Student/Social Worker in the School District of Janesville.

“Stephanie has worked hard with her team to deliver on our Janesville Promise of having every student known by name, strength, and need,” said Stever Pophal, Superintendent of the School District of Janesville. “She will be the first to say it is a team effort, but her leadership has certainly helped the entire staff at Madison Elementary School remain focused on doing what is best for students.”

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Filter received a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a Masters of

Social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Certificate of Advanced Study in School Administration from Certificate of Advanced Study- School Administration from National Lewis


Supported by the Meemic Foundation, the principal of the Year award recognizes school leaders who have helped drive student learning, foster instructional collaboration and create safe and positive school environments. Recipients are selected based on their dedication to professional excellence, leadership skills and service to their communities. To learn more about the award, visit

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