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Brandi K. Bruley
North Elementary School
Taylorville School District #3
Taylorville, Illinois

Fostering relationships, supporting teachers “in the trenches” and advocating personally for each and every student are leadership skills Principal Brandi K. Bruley sees as key to sustained high achievement at North Elementary School. Attesting to this is the rural, high poverty school’s consistent record of high performance which has earned it both Spotlight and Honor Roll awards from the Illinois State Board of Education for the past three years. The conviction that all children can continue to grow and excel regardless of their starting point is the driving force underlying all instructional approaches and interactions at this kindergarten through second grade school serving 412 students. Bruley supports teachers’ efforts by attending workshops with them to understand challenges and ensure she allocates necessary resources for success. With a limited budget for conferences, Bruley also offers staff exposure to new ideas and best practices by enabling visitations to neighboring district schools. To help struggling students, Bruley has enlisted the aid of retirees and Taylorville High School AP and Key Club students to provide free after school tutoring. Monthly family nights focus on fun and internet safety and literacy, with free dinner and child care helping to bring in parents. Monthly phone calls home set a positive tone by focusing on student successes. “Mrs. Bruley has the rare gift of making each child feel as if they are her favorite,” says one parent. Bruley has won the Elementary Principal of the Year Award from the state of Illinois. Her credentials include a B.A. in Education from Illinois State University and a Type 75 Educational Leadership and Superintendent Certificate from the University of Illinois.