Donna Coderre

In her five years as principal of Leo A. Savoie Elementary School, Donna Coderre has worked to create consistency in instruction while building a coherent school culture grounded in shared responsibility for supporting student learning. As a former low-income single mother, Coderre holds an intimate understanding of the challenges facing families living in poverty and brings this lived experience to her rapport with Savoie families, 60 percent of whom are enrolled in the free and reduced-price meals program. Leading by example and authentically engaging stakeholders, Coderre has cultivated the trust and collaboration necessary for the school’s growth. Upon arriving at the Savoie, teachers identified curricular consistency as a priority for creating the school they envisioned. Securing grants from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and the Rhode Island Foundation, Coderre entered Savoie into a professional learning partnership with The Learning Community, a charter school that supports low-income schools in implementing guided reading curricula. Through this partnership, she cultivated new processes for data-driven professional development among her team, and the school has seen significant growth in reading proficiency — from 25 percent to as much as a 45 percent increase in some grade-level cohorts. Coderre is a facilitator with Harvard University’s Principal’s Center and has a robust record of community and educational service. She holds a B.A. from Rhode Island College and a Master’s degree from Providence College.