Michael D. O’DowdMichael D. O’Dowd
Frank J. Lamping Elementary School
Clark County School District
Henderson, Nevada

On the campus of Michael O’Dowd’s school is a 4,200-foot science center built with the support of community members, school business partners, and private donors. The facility includes science and technology labs and a space shuttle simulator. Its exhibits and artifacts provide for hands-on science experiences for the 1,039 students of O’Dowd’s suburban K-5 school. A full-time science instructor and instructional assistant staff the science center. O’Dowd wrote and implemented a four-year plan to integrate science instruction into reading, writing, math, and social studies curricula. As a result of his students’ increased exposure to science studies, the school’s grade four and five scores on a nationally normed standardized test rose from a percentile rank of 68 in 2001 to 78 in 2006. O’Dowd has been principal of Frank J. Lamping Elementary since 2002. In 2006-2007, the site received honors as an “exemplary school” in its state. “With a fundamental belief that all students can learn and succeed, I have created a vision and mission that all students should receive instruction commensurate with their ability levels,” he says. Recognizing high-quality teaching as key to student achievement, O’Dowd ensures that his staff receive resources and training to meet all students’ learning needs. He earned a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an M.Ed. from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.