Gail J. Holzer
Redeemer Lutheran School
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
Oakmont, Pennsylvania

Gail J. HolzerGail Holzer has seen her school grow one grade level at a time since she started serving as its preschool teacher in 1986. After the school added kindergarten in 1993, and first and second grades in 1995, Redeemer Lutheran expanded by one grade yearly until it included a sixth grade. By 1999, the school added nine classrooms, a library, and school offices. It added seventh and eighth grades in 2004 and 2006, respectively. Although  Holzer has been principal of Redeemer Lutheran School since 1994, she still spends about 20 percent of her time teaching English and writing. “Setting a tone of excitement and excellence in learning begins with me,” she says. Holzer’s small-town Pre-K-8 school now has 146 students. With Holzer’s leadership, the site achieved accreditation last year through National Lutheran School Accreditation. Holzer helped make this achievement possible by introducing a process that maps out every subject of the curriculum for every grade level. Seeking accreditation led both Holzer’s school and its church to develop a strategic planning team. Holzer also has ensured a technology-rich environment at her school by equipping classrooms with computers and electronic teaching boards. Teachers’ use of software and Web technology at the school enables students and parents to have 24-7 online access to class assignments and grades. Holzer has a bachelor’s degree from Clarion University in Pennsylvania.