He's the second local principal to win award in as many years
by: Marcus Hathcock, Boring Middle School Principal Scott Maltman, his school's biggest fan, sports his Boring Bears polo.

Once again, the Oregon Trail School District has the Oregon Principal of the Year.

On Friday, March 23, the district announced that Boring Middle School Principal Scott Maltman has received the National Association of Secondary School Principals award for Middle School Principal of the Year.

'I'm just humbled and overwhelmed,' said Maltman, after digesting the news for a couple of days. 'It's just a neat thing, and I really appreciate the efforts of the people who were directly involved (in nominating me). It was very kind of them to have me recognized.'

Maltman, a 12-year employee of the district who has been at Boring Middle the past five years, is the second principal in the district to win the honor in as many years. Sandy High School Principal Jim Saxton took the honors for high school principals in 2006.

'We're so proud,' said district spokeswoman Julia Monteith. 'It's amazing that we got people two years in a row; I don't know if that's ever happened with other districts. There are a lot of principals in the state of Oregon, and it's phenomenal that two of ours floated to the top.'

Maltman will be honored at the April 9 school board meeting as well as the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators conference held in Seaside this June. He will travel to Washington, D.C., this fall for the NASSP/MetLife Principals' Institute.

'A paragon of leadership'

The principal said his staff conspired to nominate him while he was out of the office one day for a conference. When he arrived at the school during the weekend to catch up on some work, he found a note on his desk from his staff, ordering him to finish the application for Principal of the Year that they had started. Reluctant but appreciative, Maltman cooperated.

The principal's superiors, peers and subordinates submitted four lengthy letters of recommendation for the award.

Parent volunteer Susan Leininger wrote, 'Mr. Maltman has quietly come into our school and created a truly wonderful educational environment for all (anything but boring), during some very tough economic and controversial times.'

She says that due to Maltman's influence, volunteering continues to be on the rise, as well as Boring's test scores and attendance.

'He unobtrusively sets the standard of excellence very high for us to achieve,' she said, 'and we each in turn, gladly do so.'

Fellow Principal Molly Knudsen of Cedar Ridge Middle School - who has worked with Maltman 10 years - also spoke highly of her colleague, as did district Superintendent Clementina Salinas. Both administrators praised Maltman for his imagination, creativity and ability to create and improve the climate of his school and the district.

Language arts teacher Beth Paul, who led the charge to nominate Maltman, stated in her letter that Maltman 'juggles constant interruptions with a positive attitude and a sense of humor.' She called him a 'paragon of leadership' who allows creative and open dialogue.

'Negotiations and compromises are possible,' she said, 'but ultimately his decisions are timely and final - and respected.'

Here are just a few more reasons why Maltman's fans nominated him:

• He gracefully and capably handled being principal of both Naas and Boring Middle, a double-assignment he held for two years before solely working for the middle school.

• He implemented the Positive Behavioral System, which incorporates students and parents in decision-making.

• He started the 'professional reading circle,' a sort of job-augmenting book club for Boring Middle staff.

• His positive interaction with parent helpers and the community, which has brought volunteering to an 'all-time high' according to one parent.

• He teaches classes, including lessons from 'Second Steps,' an anger management, anti-bullying, problem-solving program.

• He performs community service activities with students, such as the Run and Rake.

• He does jobs that not every principal would do - advising the student council, attending entire in-service workshops with his staff, unloading and assembling freight, cleaning floors, setting up and leading assemblies, attending every band/choir/drama performance, presiding over Wednesday detentions and chaperoning after-school fund-raisers, among many other things.

'(Maltman's) complete control over every aspect of Boring Middle School doesn't smother us,' Paul noted. 'In fact, it frees and inspires us to do more.'

Despite all the kind words, Maltman turns the focus back on others.

'I don't think of myself as Principal of the Year,' he said. 'I just go about doing the best I can because it's a worthy and important job, dealing with the kids. I'm not the reason why good things happen at BMS. I'm just part of the reason because everyone else is involved in making it happen as well.'

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