Barbara A. Werstler
Dodge Intermediate School
Twinsburg City School District
Twinsburg, Ohio

Barbara Werstler’s success in leading a large school for nearly a decade has depended on the strong relationships she has built with her staff. “I think of my staff as my family,” she says, “and I have great admiration and respect for them. They inspire me daily and have made it possible for me to actually remain in what is a very challenging position.” Werstler became principal of Dodge Intermediate School in 2001. The suburban school houses 952 students in grades 4 through 6. Werstler’s leads a staff of 111 members, including nearly 40 general education teachers. Within Professional Learning Communities, they meet to discuss curriculum development and instructional improvement needs. Dodge Intermediate teachers also gather regularly on grade-level teams to work on improving instruction. Since Werstler took over the principalship, the school has greatly increased its standing on the state report card. The site’s ratings have risen from five out of 10 points to an “excellent with distinction” rating. The school also met Adequate Yearly Progress targets with the achievement levels of all student subgroups. High among the key accomplishments of her tenure as a principal Werstler counts “those amazing kids—all colors, all ages, all smiles.” She has a B.S. from Kent State University in Ohio and an M.S. and an M.A. from the University of Akron in Ohio.