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BJ DeAustin
Garwood Elementay School
Rathdrum, Idaho
Lakeland District #272

BJ DeAustin, known by his students as “Mr. DeAwesome,” has been principal of Garwood Elementary for an impressive twenty-two years. During that time, he has maintained a consistent track record with unwavering support for students and a positive school culture that is recognized across the district. DeAustin is known for his sense of humor, his ability to listen, and his overall caring nature. “His very presence provides a positive start to the school day,” says Assistant Superintendent Lisa Sexton. His attention to individual students and sense of understanding is something to be commended. “He always gives me a hug when I need one,” comments one student. “He likes me even when I'm in trouble,” says another. DeAustin has also succeeded because of his ability to foster teamwork and stay up-to-date with educational standards. At Garwood, decision making is a collaborative effort, and DeAustin trusts his staff to follow through. Under his leadership, Garwood has become the first elementary school in the district to implement an effective Response to Intervention program. He has a keen awareness of current educational trends, working hard to integrate Common Core Standards and STEM activities into instruction and after-school activities. DeAustin is a member of numerous organizations including the Idaho Homeless Education Advisory Team and Newby-Ginnings. He holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and an M.A. in Educational Administration from the University of Idaho.