Straatmann Announces Retirement

Straatmann to Retire After 33 Years in Education
Posted on 09/30/2020
Judy StraatmannDr. Judy Straatmann, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction with the School District of Washington, will retire following the current 2020-21 school year. Her final day will be on June 30, 2021.

This school year is Dr. Straatmann’s 33rd year in education. She was a teacher for 12 years prior to becoming an administrator.

Straatmann began her education career with the Sullivan School District, where she was a special education teacher for seven years and a first-grade teacher for three years. She then moved to the School District of Washington, where she was as a special education teacher at South Point Elementary for two years before getting into administration.

Straatmann, who has been with the SDOW for 23 years, was a principal on the elementary level at Campbellton, Labadie, Clearview and Washington West before taking her current role as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed every position I have held at the School District of Washington and the Sullivan School District,” Straatmann said. “The most rewarding part of my career has been being able to witness social and emotional growth of students and see them achieve their goals. Quality teachers, staff and supportive parents are to be credited with the success of my career. I will truly miss working in the School District of Washington, but am very excited about seeking other volunteer passions.”

Dr. Straatmann joins Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer (29 years in education) in retiring following the school year.

John McColloch, Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations, joined the District on July 1, 2020. Dr. Rachael Franssen, Assistant Superintendent of Personnel and Support Services, has been in that role for five years and with the District for 16 years.

Dr. VanLeer and Dr. Straatmann both have had full careers in education that can be reflected in their total years of service. Both served as teachers prior to going into administration.

Dr. VanLeer’s retirement is in celebration of a long, successful career in education. A few opportunities outside the field of education have been afforded to her, of which she plans to entertain.

Dr. Straatmann plans to pursue volunteer opportunities in areas related to working with students and diversity awareness.

“My greatest passion and success as a teacher was the curriculum development and creation of the Special Education Transition room at South Point Elementary and at Sullivan Elementary, where I started my school career,” Straatmann said.

A few things Dr. Straatmann has accomplished while with the School District of Washington include:

*Expansion of professional development opportunities for all staff, most importantly, professional development on trauma, poverty, and restorative practices.

*Improvements to orientation programs, academic programs and curriculum.

*Establishment of curriculum and assessment coordination.

*Direction of instructional support programs and instructional coaches.

*Collection of data to provide successful reporting and continual improvement over the District’s Annual Performance Report.

*Facilitation of many committees/departments including the Student Achievement Implementation Team associated with our Strategic Plan, Calendar Committee, Elementary Administration, and Technology.

*Oversight of federal programs including Title programs for At-Risk students, Teacher Development, Students in Transition (Homeless), and Language Instruction for ELL.

The new School District of Washington Superintendent, to be selected by January 1, 2021, will work with Dr. VanLeer to find a high quality candidate to fill Dr. Straatmann’s big shoes.

“Judy has been a tremendous asset to this District for many years. She is intelligent, compassionate, and always has the best interest of all students in mind,” VanLeer said. “She has been my teammate during my entire tenure and our successes are shared and earned. Her work ethic has been impeccable.”

Judy Straatmann
Dr. Judy Straatmann