Gayle Allensworth is a firm believer that student achievement and teacher retention go hand-in-hand. That is why as principal of two small-town schools in Red Oak, Iowa — Inman Primary and Washington Intermediate — she has focused on creating curricular change supported by structured professional development and effective, data-driven systems for differentiated instruction. Allensworth has proven resilient and unafraid of the challenges of turnaround leadership. After identifying instructional deficits in the areas of reading, writing, and math, she sought out resources to clarify best practices for assessment and instruction, while developing her personal approach to building distributed leadership guided by a deep commitment to mentorship. By creating effective structures for sustained professional development, Allensworth has created a warm culture of collaboration across the two schools, leading to substantial gains in student achievement and earning praise from the School Administrators of Iowa, who called the system a “promising practice.” Her master schedule redesign was similarly recognized by the Iowa Department of Education for its effective delivery of core content while implementing multi-tiered systems of support to meet the needs of every student. Meanwhile, Principal Allensworth has remained committed to building stronger relationships with families as an active member of the communities she has served for nearly two decades. She holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Northern Iowa and has completed advanced graduate study at Northwest Missouri State University.