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Kimmie T. Etheredge
Kay Granger Elementary
Northwest Independent School District
Keller, Texas

“What’s best for kids?” is the guiding question underlying all leadership decisions made by Principal Kimmie T. Etheredge and her team at Kay Granger Elementary School. Granger’s multiple-award-winning status is indisputably linked to Etheredge’s success at fostering a sense of community and maintaining a positive and supportive climate at the 921-student, kindergarten through fifth grade school. When first appointed as principal in 2006, Etheredge realized there was no “community” in the surrounding developing subdivision. She went into neighborhoods and welcomed families, participated in community gatherings, and called each student to welcome them to the school before the first day. As a result, Granger’s Meet the Teacher Night was “mobbed” with excited parents, and the school soon became the hub of a new community with a warm family environment, exemplary academics, strong campus morale, and involved parents. Employing a distributed leadership model, Etheredge drives effective instruction by training all staff in PBL, ESL, and GATE and by providing a master schedule with fifty-five minute planning as well as daily forty minute tutoring and enrichment sessions. An Operational Leadership Team, chaired by the assistant principal, handles common management decisions. Under Etheredge’s leadership, Granger has won the National School of Character Award in 2013, the State School of Character Award in 2012, and District Campus of the Year award three years in a row. Additionally, school enrollment has more than doubled, and district surveys show that 98 percent of staff feel valued and supported. Etheredge holds a B.S. and an M.A. in Education as well as a Mid-Management Certificate from Texas Tech.