Claremore Daily Progress

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April 30, 2014

Catalayah recognizes McClaren

CLAREMORE — Claremore Superintendent Michael McClaren and special guests were invited to “Rise and Shine” Tuesday morning at Catalayah Elementary in recognition of McClaren’s recent Oklahoma Medal of Excellence in Elementary/Secondary Administration.

“Catalayah is a special place with very special teachers and a very special group of young people,” said McClaren. “This is quite an honor. I’d much rather have the students and teachers in the spotlight, but when I look at this honor, I think it’s a great tribute to Claremore and a great tribute to this school.”

He said there is a lot of people that helped make (Catalayah) possible.

“Five years ago, this school didn’t exist. The community came together and passed a bond issue, which made this building come to life, and it’s become a very special place,” McClaren said.

McClaren joins his wife, Claremore High School history teacher Jan McClaren, as the first ever husban-wife team of Meadal for Excellence winners. Jan received the honor in 2006 for secondary teaching.

Throughout his 14 years at Claremore, McClaren has led the district through unprecedented growth in facilities and programs. Under his leadership, the district has reconfigured grade levels and attendance areas to provide the optimal classroom size with quality instruction.

The district has added Catalayah Elementary, and expanded Will Rogers Junior High, Claremore High School and Stuart Roosa Elementary. Other major projects included the construction of a new multi-sports arena, football stadium and with donors’ help — the Robson Performing Arts Center.

McClaren launched the new technology education program at WRJH, which has since become the nation’s first middle school FAB Lab — a computer-assisted drafting lab where students creat manufacturing and engineering projects. His stand-up leadership has resulted in a new Naval Junior ROTC program and the establishment of high school biomedical and pre-engineering programs.

Since 2000, Claremore has had 18 Academic All-Staters, a Gates Millenium Scholar, a U.S. Presidential Scholar, multiple Academic Bowl titles and two Great Expectations Model Schools.

“Mr. McClaren’s belief that students can do more and become more has led to achievement,” said Claremore High School Principal Todd Steidley.

McClaren was one of five educators to receive the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence honor in February. Awards will be presented at the foundation’s 28th annual Academic Awards Banquet May 17 at the Emabassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Norman.

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