Kristin Golden identifies as a systems thinker and a firm believer in distributed leadership, perspectives she has applied throughout her career, which has included 17 years as a classroom teacher, two years as an instructional coach, and eight years as an administrator. As principal of Riverdale Elementary, Golden has has spent the last four years developing school-wide systems and structures that have led to substantial gains in academic achievement, earning the school recognition as one of the 20 most improved in the state. Golden credits these advancements to a rigorous commitment to data-driven instruction, systematic and transparent feedback cycles, and a school culture that recognizes and celebrates success in both teachers and students. In order to get the resources and support needed to help Riverdale recover from declining status, Golden stewarded a three-year funding partnership with the Department of Education’s Turnaround Network. Thanks to Golden’s leadership, Riverdale was recognized as a model for data-driven instruction and culture; in 2017, the school was the first in the network to host a Bright Spot Visit. As part of the partnership, Golden was invited to study in the RELAY graduate school program, graduating in the top ten percent of her cohort. She holds a B.A. from Eastern Kentucky University, an M.A. from Indiana University Southeast, and has completed advanced study in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Denver.