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Amy M. Rickard
Morris Grove Elementary School
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Creating a new school from the ground up, integrating a global perspective into instruction, and contributing to the growth of colleagues are among the significant accomplishments of Principal Amy M. Rickard of Morris Grove Elementary School. Six years ago, Rickard was afforded the rare opportunity to shape the founding philosophy, vision, organization, and climate of the just-opening school. Under Rickard’s leadership, the 565-student, prekindergarten through fifth grade school became a true professional learning community with student achievement and a culture of high expectations at its core. In each grade level, PLC teams create norms, establish student learning goals, and collaborate in all aspects of curriculum mapping, planning, instruction, differentiation, and assessment. Rickard also believes in the power of global learning. In addition to supporting development of the state’s first Chinese Dual Language program at her previous school, she has consistently worked to hire international teachers through the Visiting International Faculty Program, which led to Morris Grove piloting the first Global Gateway program in the district. Last year, Morris Grove’s second grade class won the Global Educator Challenge, and with it, a team educational study visit to Costa Rica. Rickard also sees teacher and colleague support as a primary accomplishment and promotes training and leadership opportunities, student teacher hosting, and other practices that build capacity. “Ms. Rickard is our primary protector against extraneous policies, our guardian opposing superfluous work, and our champion defender over formidable parents,” says one Morris Grove teacher. Rickard holds a B.A. in English Education and Psychology and an M.A. in Administration from the University of North Carolina.