Kim C. ChristnerKim C. Christner
Garfield Elementary School
Augusta Unified School District No. 402
Augusta, Kansas

In her role as a principal for over a decade, Kim Christner has been inspired in part by author John Maxwell’s words from his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: “The better leader you are, the better leaders you will attract.” Referring to Garfield Elementary, which she has headed since 2004, she says, “I know I have an entire building of leaders by the undeniable exemplary school.” The suburban K-5 school earned national recognition as a No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School in 2006. The honor recognized the high achievement levels of the 264 students during Christner’s tenure. Last year the school also won the Panasonic National School Change Award. Christner emphasizes relationship building with her faculty members, with the aim of increasing trust and collaboration among teachers. Christner also takes pride in building positive relationships with every student in her school. She shows youngsters her interest in learning by frequently visiting their classrooms and conducting daily “Learning Walks.” Surveys of parents and teachers have demonstrated their support for Christner’s leadership. One hundred percent of parents responding to the school’s most recent climate survey affirmed that they feel welcome at the school. Last year’s staff survey confirmed that teachers feel empowered and valued by Christner. She has a B.S. from Texas A&M University and an M.S. from Fort Hays State University in Kansas.