Diane L. KittelbergerDiane L. Kittelberger
Genoa Elementary School
Perry Local Schools–Stark County
Massillon, Ohio

Diane Kittelberger’s suburban K-5 school of 384 students serves a diverse population. Over half of the students are economically disadvantaged. The school has a Title I program, and about 10 percent of the students receive special education services. “Some may view our statistics as being barriers to education; however, we see them as opportunities,” says Kittelberger. “High expectations permeate all that we do, and our students are achieving at high levels.” Kittelberger became principal of Genoa Elementary in 2001. During her tenure, she has created a strong focus on increasing student achievement through effective curriculum and instruction. Key components of her strategy include engaging her school in continuous improvement planning and promoting teacher leadership. Each year Genoa Elementary’s ongoing improvement plan provides instructional goals based on teachers’ collaborative analysis of the levels and trends of student achievement data. The school’s continuous improvement plan also lists strengths and weaknesses at each grade level based on the data. Kittelberger has made a high priority of developing teachers’ leadership potential and working collaboratively with them. She also has allocated resources in new ways in order to support struggling learners. A reading program developed with her leadership provides extra support to “focus groups” of students, targeting specific reading skills with research-based instructional strategies. She earned her B.S. and her M.Ed. from Kent State University in Ohio.