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.
Montgomery County (Md.) Association of Administrators and Principals
Name: Nancy Carter School: Hyde Grove Elementary
Bio: Nancy Carter has been an educator for 17 years and has served as a teacher, professional development trainer, assistant principal, and principal for last 3 years at Hyde Grove Elementary in Jacksonville, Florida. Serving as a principal in a Title 1 school, Ms. Carter has realized that literacy serves as the gateway to a better life and endless possibilities for her students. Without it, they are condemned to a life of dim statistics. She spends her year trying to ensure that each child is progressing as readers and engaging them in authentic literature they can love for life.
As a principal, her greatest concern is finding a way to ensure the needs of struggling students are met and strategies are found to help them progress.
Duval Elementary School Principals
National Association of Elementary School Principals
Florida Association of School Administrators
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
National Staff Development Council
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
Washington Educational Research Association
Name: Dr. L. Robert Furman School: South Park Elementary Center
Bio: In his fifth year as principal at South Park Elementary, Robert has served as an educator for 15 years and a principal for a total of five. Robert’s greatest sense of pride derives from his school staff’s willingness to make the necessary changes to help their students. Robert – who promotes literacy in a number of ways, including through technology – focuses on the lifelong benefits of reading. “We are not teaching good reading skills. We are simply teaching enough to win a score on a test,” he warns. One of his biggest goals is to increase reading proficiency to more than 80 percent among his third- and fourth-grade students. Toward that end, Robert has implemented the Accelerated Reader program at South Park. A published author, Robert’s research interests include parental self-efficacy in student academic achievement and use of technology to increase administrative efficiency. He is the author of Reader Leader’s Login 4 Leaders column and is also a columnist for The Huffington Post.
National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)
National Middle School Association
Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals (PAESSP)
Percussive Arts Society (PAS)
Name: Helen Giles School: Classical Studies Academy
Bio: Helen Giles has been an educator for 12 years and a principal at the Classical Studies Academy for two years. Helen is very proud of her students and their potential for greatness. “I am also proud of the efforts on behalf of the staff, parents and community partnerships,” she says. Helen’s greatest concern is to instill in the students a great love for reading and she has a sincere desire that all of the students function at their highest potential. “I believe this can be accomplished once the students gain a strong foundation in reading and math”. Helen will know this goal has been achieved when there are notable improvements in the district benchmark assessments and state mandated tests. “Additionally, I am looking to see excitement exuded by the students about what is going on in the classroom,” she says. “We are working diligently to ensure that best practices are in place, such as using data to inform instruction, allowing time for teacher collaboration, parent involvement, creating and sustaining community partnerships and having a shared vision”.
Member of Association for Supervison and Curriculum Development
Board member of Omicron Upsilon Omega Foundation
Member Of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Member of South Norwalk Charter School Planning Team
Member of the Board of Directors – United Way of Coastal Fairfield County
Name: Michael Henry School: Enders-Salk Elementary School
Bio: Student success is the No. 1 goal at Enders-Salk School, where Michael – with 14 years of experience in education – has been principal for one year. Michael and his staff are vigilant in researching and applying best practices toward helping their students achieve 100 percent proficiency in reading and math. A host of reading initiatives – including a mother-daughter book club and participation in Read for the World Record! – demonstrate Michael’s staff’s commitment to student achievement. But numbers aren’t everything at Enders-Salk, where Michael and his staff are “passionate and will do anything to ensure that our students are receiving whatever they need – whether food, books, supplies, or hugs. This creates an environment where students are encouraged, guided, and pushed to do their best,” Michael says.
ASCD, International Reading Association, National Staff Development Council
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: Dr. Michael Shaffer School: Lincoln Elementary School
Bio: Michael has completed 23 years as a principal, having served in elementary,
middle, and high school settings in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Iowa. Michael
also works with Ball State University as an assistant professor, working with students
completing their principal internships as a part of the licensing process.
In his spare time, Michael teaches motorcycle safety classes through the Indiana
Department of Education and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. He takes great pride
in his very dedicated corps of teachers, who care deeply about children and work very
hard to provide high-quality, data-driven instruction to those children.
As a principal, his greatest concern is student literacy. Not only in getting them to read
more at their grade level while in school, but also to put print materials in their hands
that they can access anytime. His big concern with loaned books to students is that once
they complete reading it, they must return it. Kids need to be able to keep the books
they enjoy so they can re-read favorite books.
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Allen County Learn United
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
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