Lydia D. Davenport
Heritage Elementary School
Madison City School District
Madison, Alabama

“It’s important to articulate a compelling vision that invites others to dream with me,” says Lydia Davenport. In more than a decade as principal of Heritage Elementary, Davenport has invited the school community to experience her idea of high performance. She has created a positive environment in which teachers set high expectations for student achievement and their own professional learning. Signs that Davenport’s dream has become a reality include state recognition of the school—and monetary awards in 2006 and 2008—for students’ performance on academic assessments. To meet academic challenges, Davenport’s staff has worked as a team to implement after-school tutoring, data-driven instructional decisions, and small-group learning in reading and math. Children identified as English language learners receive additional support and resources for home. Davenport also ensures that teachers receive intensive training to meet students’ differing needs and share their ideas with each other to improve teaching and learning. A suburban kindergarten through grade 6 school, Heritage Elementary currently serves 648 students. The site has won national accolades for initiatives in school nutrition and character education and participates in a state initiative to boost math, science, and technology education. It also boasts 10 annual awards for maintaining 100 percent teacher participation in its parent-teacher association. Davenport holds B.Ed. and M.Ed. degrees from Alabama A&M University at Normal and an Ed.D. from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa.