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Terrel H. Bell Award

Lisa Ditillo Speroni Shaping a vision of success for all students is one of the focus of Lisa Speroni as a school leader. From the very beginning of assuming the principalship of P.S. 253, Principal Speroni had a vision for children to find a love of learning. She wanted children to become smart, independent, hardworking students, but realized… Continue Reading Lisa Ditillo Speroni, PS 253, The Magnet School of Multicultural Humanities Brooklyn, NY

Shane Staszcuk Mr. Shane Staszcuk began his education career in the early nineties. Throughout his career as a teacher and administrator, he worked in a variety of education settings. Over the years and across locations, the one constant he understood was that all parents want the best education possible for their children. When in 2005, he became… Continue Reading Shane Staszcuk, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy Chicago, IL

Sandra Barrios In three years, under Sandra Barrios’ leadership, Jack Lowe Sr. Elementary School has transformed from a low-performing campus to an “A” campus as designated by the Texas Education Agency. Located in the center of refugee and immigrant communities in Dallas, this Title I school is a mecca of diversity. Lowe students come from 50 countries… Continue Reading Sandra Barrios, Jack Lowe Sr. Elementary School Dallas, TX

Ray Helmuth Having high academic expectations and rigor can be vital elements to a school’s success, but Principal Ray Helmuth recognized that something was missing. He realized that without a positive philosophical approach to guide the way, students’ engagement in learning and teachers’ passion for teaching could get lost. Van Buren Elementary School was already considered a… Continue Reading Ray Helmuth, Van Buren Elementary School Plainfield, IN

Rachel Ayala In four years, under Principal Rachel R. Ayala’s leadership, Hudson Elementary School transformed from a downward spiral to a National Blue Ribbon School. The improved academic success of Hudson Elementary demonstrates that all stakeholders must use their voice to maintain an unwavering focus on learning and ensure that a culture of high expectations nurtures the… Continue Reading Rachel Ayala, Hubert R. Hudson Elementary School Brownsville, TX

Michelle DuBose Adams Described as a high energy educator, “like a wonder woman in a pant suit,” Principal Adams has led the transformation of Eichold-Mertz into a high-performing elementary magnet school of choice over the past twelve years. As an instructional leader, Principal Adams is intentional, specific, and targeted to the ever-changing needs of students, faculty, and the… Continue Reading Michelle DuBose Adams, Eichold-Mertz Magnet School of Math, Science & Technology Mobile, AL

Lily Albright Principal Lily Albright was not new to the school district when she was recruited to lead Unionville Elementary as principal in 2014. After serving in the district as a teacher, assistant principal, and then principal at another school, she jumped at the opportunity to take everything she had learned from her prior experiences and apply… Continue Reading Lily Albright, Unionville Elementary School Unionville, IN

George Petersen Every morning, Liberty Elementary students start their day with an enthusiastic “Good morning Skyeeehawks!” from Principal George Petersen on K-SKY News. From the tireless hours over the summer of reading research, to his creative approaches in motivating his staff, to his vulnerability in teaching lessons alongside his teachers, Principal Petersen is the consummate educator. A… Continue Reading George Petersen, Liberty Elementary School Fresno, CA

Daniel Crispino Three years ago, Mr. Daniel Crispino assumed a major leadership role in transforming John Barry Elementary from a designation of “failing” to receiving the National Blue Ribbon School recognition in 2019. Principal Crispino played a pivotal role in moving one of the lowest performing schools in the district to one of the highest performing schools.… Continue Reading Daniel Crispino, Principal John Barry Elementary School Meriden, CT

Alisa Bender Growing up in Hawaii, Alisa Bender always hoped to be a strong leader and to inspire leadership in others. After an early career in journalism, she switched to education, becoming a Special Education teacher, English Language Arts co-teacher, Vice Principal and eventually, Principal. Throughout Principal Bender’s administrative career, she cultivated a leadership style that is… Continue Reading Alisa Bender, Principal Lt Col Horrace Meek Hickam Elementary School Honolulu, HI

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