Dianne L. Helprin
Pemetic Elementary School
Union 98 School District
Southwest Harbor, Maine

Dianne Helprin spends a half hour each morning before school prioritizing tasks around goals for school improvement. She assigns particular days of the week to the areas of focus. For example, Monday is for curriculum, Tuesday for community and parental support, Wednesday for academic support systems, and so forth. This is one way that Helprin has applied her learning in a three-year development program for principals to effectively focus on instructional leadership. Under her leadership, her current school has made significant improvements every year on state academic assessments. In her first year at the school, its average results were more than 1 percent below the state average. By 2008, her school’s average result was nearly 15 percent above the state average. A school administrator for 18 years, Helprin has been principal of Pemetic Elementary since 2003. The small-town kindergarten through grade 8 school serves 162 students. She considers hiring and supporting an excellent staff among her key accomplishments. She participated on a district committee that helped develop an effective tool for evaluating teachers, and she uses this to help maintain high standards for the school. Helprin also takes pride in serving as a mentor of other principals in Maine. One of her mentees has become a respected leader in her district. Helprin has a B.S. and an M.S. from the University of Akron in Ohio.