Charles Gardner has been a principal for nineteen years, including experience at the middle and high school levels and nine years at Hokes Bluff Elementary School which he attended as a student. His strong ties to the community and personal approach are summarized by his secretary’s comment to him that, “when parents come to school upset about something and talk to you they leave your office happy and smiling as if they were your best friend.” Hokes Bluff is a rural school where many students lack access to technology. With a goal of technology integration, Gardner has overseen placement of promethean boards in every classroom, the addition of a second computer lab, and more digital devices in the hands of students. However, he believes that while a school may have all of the most current resources, equipment, and materials, nothing matters more than having the best qualified and motivated personnel. He has been fortunate to serve as a mentor to many outstanding educators, four of whom are now serving as principals and one as a superintendent. Gardner has been selected as a cohort participant in the certified instructional leader program and holds a B.S from Auburn University and a M.A. and an Ed.S. from the University of Alabama.