Asa Messer School has flourished under Denise Missry’s twenty three years of leadership as a teacher, curriculum coordinator, and principal. All together, she boasts over 26 years of service in the Providence District. In 2011, Asa Messer was slated to close due to budgetary constraints, but Missry and her team spent months collaborating, united by a commitment of community, parents, and teachers, and convinced Providence City Hall to save Asa Messer by relocating to a repurposed middle school. In this transition, Asa Messer absorbed 200 additional students, saw an increase to 93% of students receiving free or reduced lunch, and performed at the bottom of the district in NECAP test scores. With continued determination and tenacity, Missry and her staff improved this ranking to 9th and 14th on PARCC math and reading assessments, with district STAR math and reading scores of 5th and 8th respectively. She attributes this to fifteen years of cultivating a staff unified in the belief that all children can learn and working collaboratively to provide a diverse population with the best possible education. The staff partners with Inspiring Minds to support struggling students, and with the KidsBridge Program to support incoming kindergartners, resulting in an increased proficiency in Kindergarten standards. In 2014 Missry was named Providence Public Schools Principal of the Year and Inspiring Minds Outstanding Educator. She holds a B.S. in Speech and Communication from Emerson College and a Master’s of Education from Lesley College.