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Anita A. Stevens
Chinook Elementary School
Anchorage School District
Anchorage, Alaska
stevens_anita@asdk12.org
 

Anita Stevens has been the principal of Chinook Elementary School for the past six years. When she first arrived, discipline issues were high, and the school was struggling to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards. Despite the odds, she was able to transform Chinook into a school that attracts both families and faculty, with increased requests for teacher transfers and zone exemptions for students. Under her leadership, office referrals have fallen from 86 percent to 32 percent. Contributing to Stevens's success is her emphasis on high standards, consistent involvement, and her positive attitude. “In a society that all too often embraces the easiest, or lowest common denominator, she is an exception,” says Glen Neilsen, Stevens' supervisor.  Every month, Stevens holds professional development meetings and data meetings to ensure that staff can adjust their teaching practices based on student progress. She immerses herself in the classroom at multiple levels and believes it is necessary to lead by example in order to create a productive environment. Some of her regular habits include sending monthly inspirational notes to staff members and using positive reinforcement to improve student behavior. She is a regular guest speaker in the district and a Board Member of the School Business Partnership. She holds a Bachelor's in Education and an M.A. in Administration and Counseling from Eastern Michigan University.