Lucille I. Keaton
Halle Hewetson Elementary School
Clark County School District
Las Vegas, Nevada

Lucille Keaton has nurtured dramatic academic growth at the urban school she has headed since 2005. The kindergarten through grade 5 school serves a low-income, largely Hispanic/Latino population of 940 students. The school once ranked among the lowest-performing schools in Nevada; fewer than 25 percent of the students performed adequately in mathematics and only 15 percent performed adequately in English and language arts. However, by the 2008-2009 school year, 80 percent of students met achievement targets in mathematics and 70 percent did so in English and language arts. These academic improvements earned Hewetson Elementary recognition from the National Center for Urban School Transformation. “Knowing the significance of empowering teachers in goal setting and decision making, I have implemented a structure of teacher collaboration which facilitates communication, self-direction, self-motivation, and high achievement in staff members,” says Keaton. Her efforts have led to strong teacher leadership at all grade levels, staff ownership in the success of the school, and innovative instruction to fit the needs of the students, she adds. By sharing her belief that all students can achieve excellence, regardless of conditions such as poverty and language background, Keaton has led her school community to adopt high expectations. She has similarly influenced other educational leaders through her presentations at local and state conferences. She has a B.A. from Fresno State University in California and an M.Ed. from the University of Nevada.