Linda M. Anderson
Sharon Elementary School
Alpine School District
Orem, Utah

“Creating hope has been my greatest accomplishment,” says Linda Anderson. “I’ve had the opportunity to turn an undesirable, high-poverty school into a premier school known for collaboration, getting academic results, continuous learning for students and teachers, and a cohesive faculty focused on the needs of students.” Anderson assumed the principalship of Sharon Elementary School in 2000. The suburban school currently serves 500 pre-kindergarten through grade 6 students. Eighty-four percent live in low-income households. Anderson’s leadership at Sharon Elementary has transformed the negative perceptions of students, teachers, and community members alike. She accomplished this turnaround first by firmly setting high expectations for learning. She also worked hard to obtain new resources to enhance learning at her school. A key source of extra support for student learning opportunities was a $1 million grant that she won and administered. Anderson and her staff use education research to guide teaching practices at Sharon Elementary. But she adds that they also create their own “action-based research grounded in our reality” to ensure student success. As a result, students from grade 3 through grade 6 have made gains on reading tests during her tenure. Before becoming a principal, Anderson served as a teacher, including a three-year stint at her current school. She received a B.S. from Brigham Young University in Utah and an M.S. from Utah State University.