Craig McCalla
Craig McCalla

As principal of Cornerstone Elementary for the last 12 years, Craig McCalla has built on his background as a special educator to work in service of the academic and social needs of a diverse student population. Understanding how social factors can create barriers to wellness and success, McCalla has become a particularly strong advocate for LGBTQ students following the transition of a transgender student at Cornerstone. The father of this student says that their initial meeting with McCalla “changed the course of (their) family’s life forever,” leading the way for a overwhelmingly supportive response at the district level, which, unprompted, McCalla parlayed into passionate advocacy for state and national guidelines to support transgender students. This is just one of the ways that McCalla’s service reflects the school motto “all means all.” He has also made schedule accommodations and built infrastructure for collaborative teaching as a way to increase Cornerstone’s capacity for differentiated instruction and created PBIS systems to invest in social and emotional development so that all students are fully prepared to participate in their communities. McCalla is a founding member of his county’s first Transgender Task Force and has been listed in amicus briefs presented to the Supreme Court. He holds an Associates Degree from Siena Heights University, as well as an M.A. in Emotional Impairments and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University.

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