For Immediate Release: July 6, 2014

From: International Association for STEM Leaders

International Association for STEM Leaders makes debut in the nation’s capitol and names Michael Steele top STEM High School Leader for his work at the Stratford STEM Magnet School. Michael Steele is part of our ongoing video documentary featuring national STEM leaders.

On April 24 and 25, Millwood Virginia-based, International Association for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Leaders successfully launched its inaugural leadership event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.  Nearly 100 STEM leaders from around the world joined IASL leadership.  This invitation only annual STEM Leadership Summit recognized several attendees for their leadership in STEM education through a formal awards ceremony.  The awards were presented to programs, schools, school districts and individuals who exemplify STEM Excellence as defined by criteria developed by IASL.

During the event, Executive Principal, Michael Steele, of Stratford STEM Magnet High School received the High School STEM Leadership Award.  He is a Former U.S. Marine and law enforcement officer who later became principal.  Stratford STEM Magnet High School was once a “turnaround” school because just three short years ago it was one of the most challenging schools in Tennessee, with high free and reduced lunch rates and poor academic performance among its students.  Under Steele’s leadership, Stratford now has over 25 active business partners, and its student academic growth has been outstanding since Steele began to turn the school around.  Today, student ACT scores have gone up year after year. Thanks to Steele and his team of teachers, the school now has over 2 million dollars in academic scholarships for its students.  

The International Association for STEM Leaders is globally recognized for creating a "golden standard" STEM excellence in traditional and non-traditional educational settings for all Pre-kindergarten through adult students.  In collaboration with global STEM leaders, the IASL will provide guidance for implementing excellent STEM programming and develop a STEM framework that is industry-based and globally recognized.  In the coming months, IASL will host regional events to continue its recognition of exceptional leaders, through awards and to focus its outreach activities around regional education and economic development issues.  

The STEM Leadership Summit was held in conjunction with the world’s largest STEM event, hosted by the USA Science and Engineering Festival. STEMconnector, the leading one-stop shop for STEM information participated as an initial sponsor and Edie Fraser, the founder, spoke to the IASL leaders and recognized them for their important work of impacting the lives of students every day through STEM leadership and education.  Other partners include Diversified Education Systems (DES), a leader in “turn key” laboratories including: casework, equipment, curriculum, training and support.  DES is further a collaborator with Root Cause and Pitsco Education, two additional partners of IASL. For STEM online education, Learning Blade and Career ATG offer career and STEM awareness, exposure and training to students. Finally, Concept Schools, a charter school management company and Vista Teach an early elementary robotics and engineering education company took part in the event as inaugural sponsors.

For more information, please contact Dr. Carole Cameron Inge at (540) 837-2175 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


This is Mr. Steele's fourth year as executive principal of Statford STEM Magnet School. Mr. Steele comes to Stratford from Jacksonville, FL, and brings diverse experience and knowledge of smaller learning communities to the district as the executive principal.

Steele has nine years of experience in education, including five years in administration. His diverse work background includes service in the U.S. Marine Corps and more than 10 years as a law enforcement officer. He began his educational career as a special education teacher and guidance counselor before earning his master’s degree in psychology and counseling from Troy University.

As a principal and assistant principal, Steele has experience working with smaller learning communities in Florida – experience he will use at Stratford as the school transforms into three smaller communities: The Academy of Science and Engineering, The Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies.

“I am excited to be a part of the Nashville team,” Michael Steele said. “My plan is to accentuate the positive in others and help them realize their vision. I can't wait to start working with the staff at Stratford, as well as the students and parents. I want us to be exceptional at everything we do.”