Annette Freeman

Dr. Annette Freeman has over 16 years of principalship experience, serving the last 14 and a half
years as principal of Gene George Elementary (GGE). According to her peers, Freeman is
caring, committed, and “strives to see that her school provides a safe and nurturing environment”
without compromising academic rigor. GGE’s student population faces high rates of transience,
poverty, and drug- and gang-related crime. To address the complex needs of her students,
Freeman’s approach is highly collaborative, adaptive, and grounded in her commitment to
building a strong and consistent culture through distributed leadership. Recognizing the
connection between social factors and academic success, she has channeled her passion for
relationship-building to improve community wellness and academic performance at GGE.
Through successful stakeholder partnerships, she built a community health clinic that is
accessible to the entire student population and now serves 640 families. Parent and community
partnerships have also supported the academic success of GGE, where 86% of students live in
poverty and 70% speak English as a second language. Through instruction and curriculum
development, GGE has become an achieving school under Freeman’s leadership, with literacy
and math achievement above district, regional, and state performance levels. A self-described
lifelong learner, Freeman holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and an Educational
Leadership Specialist certificate from Harding University and an M.Ed. in Leadership from the
University of Arkansas.