Under Principal Joyce Hakey’s leadership, Franklin Elementary has been recognized as a Gold Medallion School for highest elementary academic achievement statewide and overall school quality. The Vermont Department of Education named this rural, high-poverty school one of three Roots of Success schools, in which students of all income levels achieve high academic results. Hakey credits these awards to the culture of collaboration she has fostered in her 17 years as Franklin Elementary’s principal. Hakey’s leadership philosophy is grounded in the idea that relationships form the foundation for success, and this outlook is demonstrated by consistent efforts to engage parents in the learning process, as well as by fostering leadership in teachers, staff members, and other stakeholders. Hakey’s colleagues describe her as a highly effective and data-driven leader who has succeeded in maintaining high success rates even on a small school budget. Hakey is proud to continue the school’s tradition of enriching community-building activities. These activities include students learning about their town’s farming roots by participating in the community garden and educational programming about food, farms, and nutrition; having school each year on Memorial Day for students to participate in the town’s parade and presentations; and intergenerational projects such as students hosting an Annual Senior Dinner, where seniors are invited to enjoy a theme-based afternoon with dining and special student performances. Hakey holds a B.S. in Business Administration from University of Vermont, an M.Ed. from St. Michael’s College, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership from the University of Vermont.