Last year, students at Prairie City Monroe Middle got to see their principal overcome something big. This year, they are celebrating her health and honoring her courage.
Stephanie Langstraat is the Principal at Prairie City Monroe Middle School.
“I think she’s probably the best principal in the state, honestly. She’s really nice and she doesn’t treat any students better than any of the other students,” said student Wes Cummings.
Last year, Ms. Langstraat was diagnosed with lung cancer. Lung cancer that her doctors said is linked to radon gas which likely came from one of her childhood schools. Because of her diagnosis, the Prairie City Monroe School District has tested and mitigated radon from their schools.
“This whole PCM district was just awesome. They came together and made her feel like it was going to be okay. Every time we got good news the roof of this place would lift with cheers,” said Jo Owens-Lovett, Langstraat’s mother.
“It’s just been overwhelming what they’ve done for her,” she added.
“Steph would do that for any of us if we had a crisis or a health situation at home, so it came naturally that we would do what is needed to help her to get through the school year,” said teacher Stephanie Berg.
And get through the year she did. Throughout her treatments, Langstraat continued to work to help her students.
“My goal is to help the students that I have to become productive citizens, be responsible, be respectful and hopefully they all get all that good stuff academically because it’s all equally important in my eyes. So we just take it one day at a time,” Langstraat said.
Langstraat said she cares about her staff and students on a professional and personal level.
“She’s able to come in and be real and connect with us, give it to us straight and she can do that with her students as well,” Berg said.
Langstraat said she is doing well with her recovery.
You can watch an extended version of Langstraat's interview below.