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Dondi Lea Frisinger
Walker Elementary School
Springdale Public Schools
Springdale, Arkansas

Increasing student involvement both academically and socially and creating positive “ripple effects” far beyond her own campus are accomplishments that earned Walker Elementary School principal, Dondi Lea Frisinger, the designation of Master School Principal from the Arkansas Leadership Academy.  Frisinger’s enthusiastic attention to student health and wellness issues, with physical activity “brain breaks,” a girls’ running club, a fitness program and other activities, is just one of the many ways she has a positive effect on student performance.  Frisinger also integrates a real world component into learning by hosting local businesses for quar-terly luncheons to discuss mutual needs and promote opportunities for students to give back to the community. This practice now impacts students district-wide through the Walker Community Partners Group.  Frisinger has also introduced innovative and engaging instructional practices to the broader district including the concept of Socratic Circles, where students as young as second grade can collaborate to analyze and discuss nuances of texts.  Walker’s assistant principal says Frisinger has created a “growth mindset,” remarking, “If Dondi sees or hears a need, she will work diligently to find resources to support it.”  Frisinger holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Missouri Southern State College, an M.A. in Education Administration from the University of Arkansas, and a Superintendency from Harding University.