Principal Advisory Board
Name: Alyson Beecher
School: San Rafael Elementary School

Bio: Alyson Beecher is a self-described “educator, book geek and literacy advocate” with 21 years of experience in education, six of which were spent as principal at San Rafael Elementary School. Faced with a diverse student population, Alyson spearheaded a Dual Language Immersion Program at her school, along with a program that integrates children with special needs.

As one who blogs about her love for reading, Alyson strives to develop a culture at her school that cultivates that same love in her students. She is passionate about helping her students understand the value of reading for learning as well as for pleasure. That goal, she realized, would be achieved step by step.

In the 2011-2012 school year, Alyson worked with a team of teachers who modeled ways to increase literacy in and out of the classroom. The results have been encouraging: Her students are more engaged with books than ever before.

  • Board member of Pasadena Association of School Administrators
  • Association of California School Administrators
  • Board member of Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Sorority
  • Board member of Children’s Literature Council of Southern California
  • American Library Association
  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • International Reading Association
Name: Anthony Bonds
School: Washington Elementary School

Bio: With 18 years as an educator and 13 as a principal, this literacy dynamo promotes learning through readathons, Book Fairs, book exchanges, and summer reading programs at his school, where his goal is to have 100 percent proficiency in reading and math for every graduating fifth-grader. A science teacher for five years, Anthony describes Washington Elementary as “a high-achieving school with a diverse student body. We truly strive to realize our school’s mission of ‘Keeping Students First’ by providing a nurturing environment and exemplary learning experiences.” Part of that equation is providing teachers with internal and external professional development opportunities, as well as sharing decision-making in areas that affect most affect his faculty.

  • ASCD, the Association for Elementary School Principals
Name: Carolyn Boyer
School: Hanley International Academy

Bio: Carolyn proudly serves a community that is a true melting pot – one of African-Americans, whites, Middle Easterners, Bosnians, and Russians – at her suburban Detroit school. With 15 years of education experience and eight as a principal, Carolyn boldly tackles the challenges diversity presents with determination to close the achievement gap by providing additional teaching time, after-school programs, and one-on-one instruction. Literacy is a primary target at the Title 1 school, where children enjoy 90-minute reading blocks, participate annually in Scholastic Book Fairs, and use Scholastic Guided Reading materials. Carolyn’s mantra: “Promises to children are sacred.”
Name: Stephanie Brant
School: Gaithersburg Elementary School

Bio: Viewing reading as elemental to academic and life success, Stephanie made national news by eliminating worksheets as homework and instead requiring her students read 30 minutes each evening. Stephanie – an educator for 13 years and a principal for three – engages families to ensure student success in her impoverished community consisting largely of immigrants. “Many of my students don’t have the tools they need at home to be successful practicing the strategies we teach them here each day,” she notes. “As a result, we send students home with books so that they build their home libraries. We creatively work with families to give them student inquiry projects at home and hold community workshops in the evenings to provide our families with the vocabulary and background knowledge they need to support their children at home.” Twice each week over the summer, Stephanie delivers donated books throughout her community to promote reading practice.

  • ACSD
  • Montgomery County (Md.) Association of Administrators and Principals
Name: Carol Ann Darnell
School: Idyllwilde Elementary School

Bio: Carol has been an educator for 31 years and has served as a principal for 11 years, including six years at Idyllwilde Elementary School. Recognized by the Florida Department of Education as a Turnaround Principal for increasing a school's rating by three letter grades, Carol expresses pride in the success her students have achieved. She remains dedicated to creating a challenging learning environment that encourages high expectations for success through instruction that allows for individual learning differences. Idyllwilde Elementary has consistently received an "A" in Florida's School Accountability Program, and the school annually receives the Five Star School Award for outstanding involvement by the parent and business communities and the Golden School Award for exemplary volunteer programs.

As a principal in a Title I school, Carol knows that literacy – which her school promotes through a variety of research-based initiatives – is the key for her students, and she and her faculty work to ensure each student makes learning gains in reading. Another key to student success at Idyllwilde Elementary is parent and family involvement. A goal Carol has set for her school is to become a National Center for Urban School Transformation Award Winning School based on best instructional practices and student proficiency across all curriculum areas.
Name: Tangee Daugereaux
School: Holy Ghost Catholic School

Bio: An avid lifelong reader, “I began playing school at the age of 3, and I have not stopped,” admits Tangee. Holy Ghost reflects its principal’s love for reading through its long list of reading initiatives. Tangee – an educator with 21 years of experience and a former reading specialist – also promotes reading by keeping her school library open and staffed full-time. While staying abreast of the challenges of faculty development, Common Core State Standards and economic realities, Tangee works to ensure “we are positive, faith-filled, and lifelong learners,” she says. Her students, she says, “are the wind beneath my wings, and because of them, I fly daily.”

  • Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society
  • Louisiana Reading Association
  • National Reading Association
  • Elementary School Principals Association
  • Supervision and Curriculum Development Association
  • National Catholic Education Association
  • Diocesan Principal’s Association
Name: Dr. Janet Fawcett
School: Highlands Elementary School

Bio: Of Janet Fawcett’s 19 years in education, 10 have been spent as a principal and seven as head of Highlands Elementary, situated in a diverse urban community outside Seattle. Taking a student-centered approach, Janet works diligently with her team to support English language learners, increase the level of parental involvement and help her students read at grade level.

Reading is such a strong emphasis at Highlands Elementary that in September 2011, the school was recognized in the local press for a notable achievement: Janet’s students had logged more than 3,200 hours of summer reading in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, making her school No. 1 in Washington and 52nd of the hundreds of thousands of schools that participated worldwide.

  • Association of Washington School Principals
  • ASCD
  • Washington Educational Research Association
Name: Zipporah Hightower
School: Bethune School of Excellence

Bio: Zipporah Hightower is a powerhouse of the Chicago school system. With 17 years of experience as an educator and five as a principal, Zipporah – a member of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s transition team – was recently promoted to managing director of programs for New Leaders, whose mission is to ensure high academic achievement for all children, especially students in poverty and of color, by developing transformational school leaders and advancing the policies and practices that allow great leaders to succeed. Students in New Leader schools are closing the achievement gap through consistently higher performance than their peers and higher graduation rates. In her previous role as principal of Chicago’s Bethune School of Excellence, Zipporah almost doubled math proof students to 68 percent of students proficient in math.

  • American Association of School Administrators
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Name: Nora Ho
School: Reed Elementary School

Bio: Co-author of Learning to Use the Written Language, Nora has 30 years of educational experience, eight of which as a principal. Nora, in her second year at Reed Elementary, strives to create 21st-century learners by “keeping current with technology as well as empowering students to become motivated learners committed to academic excellence, effective communicators, engaged citizens, and creative problem solvers.” She will have achieved her goal when she sees students unafraid to make and learn from their mistakes; demonstrating responsibility, self-direction, and independence; taking pride in their accomplishments; and understanding that “learning is a lifelong process,” she says. Nora raves about the high level of parental involvement at her growing school, saying, “We have a very involved and caring community.”

  • California Distinguished School, 2006-2010
  • National Blue Ribbon, 2011
  • Governor’s Challenge for Physical Fitness, 2011

  • California Association for the Gifted
  • National Association for the Gifted
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals, ACSA
Name: Lariza Liner
School: J.O. Schulze Elementary School

Bio: In her second year at Schulze Elementary, Lariza works to develop 21st-century learners in a culture where reading is “non-negotiable” and where the minimum student reading goal is 40 books a year. “It is very important to create the culture of reading,” she says. “At every faculty meeting, we start off with a booktalk. We also do booktalks every week on the announcements. As you enter our library, you will see pictures of teachers with their favorite books.” Lariza’s students – who must take home three books a day to read – participate in a college-inspired reading program that propels students from an associate’s degree to a doctorate based upon the number of books they read in a variety of genres. In the 2011-2012 school year, 600 parents attended a Read and Rise event featuring members of the Dallas Cowboys. Lariza will repeat the event in the 2012-2013 school year.
Name: Brad Rumble
School: Leo Politi Elementary School

Bio: Brad has served as an educator in inner-city Los Angeles for 22 years, the first 15 of which were spent at Rosemont Avenue Elementary School. At Rosemont – where Brad served as a classroom teacher, categorical program advisor, and assistant principal – he led a complete renovation of the library in partnership with the Los Angeles-based organization The Wonder of Reading. In 2005, Brad became principal at Leo Politi, set in the most densely populated area of Los Angeles. Originally from a small town in Northern California, Brad has worked to create a smalltown atmosphere at Leo Politi through high parent engagement and innovative use of campus space and time. Brad, an avid birder, was a perfect fit at Leo Politi, whose namesake wrote the 1950 Caldecott winner The Song of the Swallows. Not surprisingly, under Brad the school has become an oasis of cutting-edge birding and nature exploration in its downtown Los Angeles neighborhood.

  • National fellow, America Achieves; board member
  • Los Angeles Audubon Society
Name: Mark Terry
School: Eubanks Intermediate School

Bio: With 22 years as a principal and 32 years as an educator under his belt, Mark hasn’t lost sight of the single most important element of education: the student. He and his faculty engage in an ongoing discussion about what is best for their students, meeting regularly for student checkups in which areas of growth and areas of concern are addressed for individual children. Among his main objectives, he says, is to make his Southlake, Texas, school a place where children will want to be. An emphasis on literacy – demonstrated through multiple reading initiatives and a longstanding commitment to Book Fairs – also ranks high among Mark’s priorities as an educator. Mark shares his insights into education and administration in guest columns for NAESP’s Principal magazine and regular columns for the TEPSA (Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association) News.

  • Carroll ISD Community Service Award
  • NAESP Outstanding Service Award
  • TEPSA TEPSAN of the Year
  • TEPSA Student Council Recognition Award
  • Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals (MAESP) Honoring Our Own Award

  • President, NAESP Board of Directors, 2012-2013
  • Past president of Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association
Name: Michael Weaver
School: John A Forrest Elementary School

Bio: As an educator for 14 years and a principal for six, Michael’s educational philosophy is one of a road trip that requires much planning but allows for detours. “By concentrating on the road and planning ahead for the unexpected – adjusting my speed to match the flow of traffic, taking special care in adverse weather, and remaining calm if my equipment fails – I am confident that everyone in my learning community will finish where we want and need to be,” says the Fair Lawn, N.J., principal. Reading is a driving force at Forrest School, where Michael’s caped alter ego, Bookman Weaver, gets students excited about reading every Book Fair season. Bookman Weaver also communicates the school’s many year-round literacy and learning initiatives with parents and students via a Facebook page. In true superhero fashion, Michael’s school will focus on superpowers – skills or characteristics used to help others – in the 2012-13 school year.

  • New Jersey Literacy Leaders Network
  • New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association
  • Bergen County Principals and Supervisors Association
  • Bergen County Coaches Association
Name: Marco Zanoni
School: Academy for the Middle Years Northwest

Bio: With 33 years as an educator and seven as principal of AMY NW, Marco brings a wealth of experience to his culturally diverse Philadelphia school. The diversity of Marco’s students – who hail from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds – requires Marco continually balance strong academics with an environment that nurtures each student. AMY NW is experiencing the payoff on multiple platforms: Reading initiatives and Book Fairs remain top priorities for his school, which has been recognized also for its students’ math achievements through the Suntex International First in MATH ® competitions. In addition, the school has been granted special admission magnet status with full site selection for its staff, another point of pride for Marco.

  • Rose Lindenbaum Improvement of Education Principal Award
  • American Street Corridor Business Association Community Leadership Award
  • The Schoolmen’s Club Award of Philadelphia for Distinguished Service
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania House of Representatives Award for Community Support for Landmark Schools
  • National Association for Bilingual Educators
  • Doylestown YMCA Award for Volunteerism
Name: James Garvin
School: Reid Park Academy

Bio: In his fourth year at his Charlotte, N.C.-area school, James crossed something off his professional bucket list in the 2011-2012 school year, when Cornelius Elementary was named a National School of Character and an Honor School of Excellence as the result of his rigorous approach to education. Multiple literacy initiatives demonstrate James’ tough stance on the importance of reading and reading comprehension. “My plan is to continue to review student data and stay abreast of the latest reading research-based practices to improve growth in comprehension among my third- to fifth-graders, and to ensure that my kindergarten to second-graders have the foundations for literacy skills,” James says.

  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • International Reading Association
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
  • Association for Gifted Children
Name: Pat Cavanaugh
School: Susick Elementary School

Bio: Pat, an educator for nine years and principal for five, is committed to ensuring “all our students leave our school reading on grade level.” Therefore, a school-home partnership takes priority at his Michigan public school, where students are encouraged to read yearlong. Pat himself teaches in his K-5 and special classrooms once a week and leads a monthly school-home reading program for at-risk students. In addition, the school also offers a parent resource library featuring leveled books. Besides providing additional access, motivation and choice through Book Fairs, Pat also gives away books to his students before winter and summer breaks. A bookmobile delivers books to students in parks and apartment complexes each summer, when students are encouraged to participate in a summer reading challenge.

  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
  • Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association
Name: Molly McCarthy
School: Riddle Brook School

Bio: Describing her school as a “warm and engaging community where children’s needs are at the forefront of every decision,” Molly seeks to propel all students – even her most advanced ones – forward by ensuring individualized learning goals are established and met. “Through professional learning communities, teachers will determine student goals and then work with their teams to achieve those goals,” shares Molly, an educator for 20 years and principal for six. Literacy is also at the forefront of her suburban New Hampshire school. Her multifaceted approach includes principal booktalks, summer and winter reading initiatives, cross-grade reading buddies, book clubs, and Barnes & Noble days featuring staff read-alouds.

  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • New Hampshire Association of School Principals
Name: Holly Denman
School: Cascade Heights Public Charter School

Bio: Raised on the University of Oregon campus, Holly – in her eighth year as a principal and 29th as an educator – took a rather circuitous route to Cascade Heights. After graduating from the College of Charleston South Carolina, Holly entered the Marine Corps and then law school. Returning to Oregon, she began a career as a commercial loan officer, then got married, devoted the next 25 years to raising four children, survived cancer, and then became involved in education reform. Now balancing doctoral studies with her school responsibilities, Holly says, “I cannot think of anything I would rather be doing with my life.” At her K-8 school, she seeks to “create a culture where parents are supported as the primary educators of their children and teachers are supported in helping every child learn at his or her highest potential” as she tracks performance through multiple measures of data.

  • National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • ACSD
  • Phi Mu Alumnae Association
Name: Andy Graham
School: Battle Ground Academy

Bio: An educator for 23 years and a principal for 15, Andy says his private school is “working diligently” on enhancing the literacy program for kindergartners through fourth-graders at the K-12 campus in Franklin, Tenn. Along with a strong emphasis on literacy, technology is another value at Battle Ground Academy, which includes interactive whiteboards in every classroom. “It is always my top priority to give back tot he field of education by mentoring and assisting the next generation of teachers and administrators,” says Andy, who serves as a graduate school mentor and on three dissertation committees in addition to his role on the Principal Advisory Board.

  • Kappa Delta Pi
  • National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
  • Tennessee Association of Independent Schools
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Name: Chris Deibler
School: Pound Middle School

Bio: Born into a Nebraska ranching family, Chris now harvests student success using a bounty of literacy initiatives. Students participate in book clubs, author Skype sessions, reading challenges in which students and parents alike read the same title simultaneously, reading celebrations such as movie nights, book swaps, and raffles in which they are entered after correctly answering questions about returned library books. And Chris sees the payoff as his school repeatedly receives national recognition for its accomplishments. Crediting his teaching staff for its excellence, the 27-year education veteran says, “Each day my goal is to make the middle school experience for every student and teacher the best it can be. My job is to create the type of environment where teachers can teach and students can learn at their highest levels. My own gut research tells me we get this done on a regular basis.”

  • Phi Delta Kappa
  • Nebraska Council of School Administrators
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
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