Mike Krutz graduated from Merrillville High School in 1979, and at 52, is celebrating his ninth year as principal of the same school.
Krutz is known for his motto of “Never give up on a student for just one more day.”
“We encourage our teachers to believe in their students for one more day, because you never know when you are going to reach each student,” he said.
“Some students will make a connection immediately, while others may take longer.”
This dedication, along with hard work from teachers, has enabled the school to receive an “A” grade from the Indiana Department of Education.
“I feel very proud to lead the only Minority-Majority Indiana High School to receive an 'A' grade. Merrillville has struggles like any other school. More than 50 percent of our kids qualify for free and reduced (cost) lunches, and 30 percent are transient (from other districts)," Krutz said.
“This demonstrates that we are a dedicated staff and with all stakeholders working toward a common goal, anything is attainable,” he added.
Krutz earned a bachelor's degree from Ball State University in 1983 and later attained a master’s in secondary education from Indiana University Northwest.
In addition to serving as principal, he worked at Merrillville High as an industrial technology teacher for 14 years, and as assistant principal for five years.
Krutz will be recognized by the Indiana Association of School Principals in Indianapolis this Sunday as the 2013 District 1 High School Principal, qualifying him for the State High School Principal of the Year honors.
“I am very honored and humbled. This truly is a community- and school-wide award. Our parents, community partners, and faculty are second to none, and all make decisions every day based on what is in the best interest of students.”
Krutz resides in Valparaiso with his wife, Beth, and sons Michael, Carson, Peyton and Ian.
“I have the privilege to be able to coach my own boys in youth sports. This is an opportunity I believe to help transform kids to live healthy and productive lives,” Krutz said of his outside interests.