Joan C. Ostrowski
Swasey Central School
Brentwood School District
Brentwood, New Hampshire

“Successful leadership requires one to have a vision that is clearly and avidly communicated to others,” says Joan Ostrowski. “It is the ability to inspire people to look at things differently, to take chances, and to embrace possible failure as a step toward future success.” In 10 years as principal of Swasey Central School, Ostrowski has spurred the growth of her small-town school into a site recognized as exceptional. She has made it a place “that welcomes professionals to expand their academic approaches to instruction for all children.” Ostrowski encourages staff members to offer learning opportunities to support the curriculum and students’ development outside the school day. Swasey Central School’s wealth of physical resources also helps advance the learning of the 401 pre-kindergarten through grade 5 students. The building features enhanced auditory systems and stand-up desks, and children benefit from a beautiful outdoor trail system and flower and vegetable gardens on the grounds. Beyond her school, Ostrowski participates in ongoing committee work within the New Hampshire Association of School Principals. In this capacity, she has worked with a professional network of elementary principals. She counts among her key accomplishments as a principal her service as a mentor and role model for other principals in her state. She has a B.S. from Wayne State University in Michigan and an M.A.T. from Oakland University in Michigan.