Laura Wilson named Colorado Elementary Principal of the Year
Under her leadership, Redstone Elementary has seen a 17% improvement in student CSAP scores over the past year, and will receive the Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award this year.
Among her accomplishments as a leader is moving Redstone Elementary toward becoming the first school in Douglas County with one to one iPads as a learning tool for students. A firm believer in the power of technology to advance a 21st century learning environment, Wilson has been tireless in her efforts to improve student access to technology that fosters creativity, enhanced learning, and deeper levels of engagement. She has inspired the support of parents and community partners and over the past several years has raised over $55,000 to go towards achieving the schools goal of offering iPad classrooms. Praised for long-range vision and high expectations for students and staff alike, Wilson is credited with fostering a school culture in which all participants continually strive for ongoing improvement and growth.
Integral to Wilson’s leadership style is her commitment to providing her staff with the support and tools they need to best serve students. She believes strongly in seeking out best practices and ensuring that teachers have the professional development they need to implement them for the benefit of kids. Cited as one who cares deeply for her colleagues and students, she fosters an environment of shared ownership in which every staff member is committed to advancing the goals of the school together.
Douglas County Director of Elementary Education Marie Unger said of Wilson, “Laura’s expertise in instruction, understanding the elementary learner and her ability to build a strong school community have allowed Redstone to continue moving forward as a shining example of our schools in Douglas County.”
Wilson was selected for this honor by her peers in a rigorous and competitive process facilitated by the Colorado Association of Elementary School Principals (CAESP), a department of CASE and affiliate of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). The National Distinguished Principal program is sponsored by NAESP and VALIC.
The award recognizes successful elementary or middle level principals who have provided outstanding leadership. Selection criteria include evidence of respect from the school community; active community involvement; strong educational leadership; and evidence of maintaining an orderly, purposeful learning environment.
CAESP President Danelle Hiatt praised Wilson as a school leader. “Laura redefines the notion of going ‘above and beyond’ in her role as a principal,” she said. “Her passion for public education is clearly evident in her strong and dynamic leadership style. She has taken a high-performing school to the next level by inspiring and incorporating 21st century learning practices and principles in each and every classroom.”
CASE and CAESP will present Wilson with her award at an upcoming school event. She and other CASE award winners also will be recognized at an awards ceremony later this month, as well as at the Annual CASE Convention this summer in Breckenridge.
As Colorado’s National Distinguished Elementary Principal, Wilson will be honored, along with other state winners, in Washington, D.C. this fall.
Established in 1969, the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE) is an organization of more than 2,000 school administrators committed to improving student achievement through promoting and building quality education leadership in all Colorado schools.