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Susan M. Myers
Walter S. Mills Parole Elementary School
Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Annapolis, Maryland

As an experienced Anne Arundel County principal, Susan M. Myers’ leadership has been responsible for transforming entrenched attitudes and effecting dramatic prog-ress in closing achievement gaps.  During her tenure at a former Title I elementary school, her primary challenge was to close the achievement gap for African American students.  Building a professional learning community with student achievement at the forefront of planning, Myers helped grow inclusion in teaching math and language arts.  Teachers became diagnostic in their evaluation of student performance and instructional practices and prescriptive in planning effective interventions for students.  By the end of her second year as principal, says Myers, “there were lots of talks by kids and parents about hopes and dreams of the future, and kids began to make connections between learning and what that future looked like.”  Adults no longer blame poverty, challenging home life, or academic challenges as barriers to learning.  The dialogue changed from Kids at Risk to Kids at Hope.  The result of this shift in attitude and practice was a 19 percent increase in math and reading scores on benchmark tests and a 24 percent increase in advanced scores for African American students.  As the newly appointed principal of the 617-student prekin-dergarten-grade five Walter S. Mills Parole Elementary School, Myers is implementing a similar process.  “When children are welcomed in an environment of trust, high expectations, and unconditional support, they are moti-vated to learn regardless of the challenges,” she says.  Myers holds an Elementary Education teaching credential from the University of Maryland, a Reading Specialist certification from Loyola College, and an Administration Certificate from Goucher College.