Lisa Vrvilo

Lisa Vrvilo has been principal of Cottonwood Creek School (CCS) in Wasila, Alaska for 10
years and has served Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District (MSBSD) as a teacher and
administrator since 1995. Under her leadership, CCS has become the most requested of all 16
elementary schools in MSBSD, with about 40 percent of students attending through boundary
exemptions, up from about 50 when she became principal. Vrvilo credits the high desirability of
her school to its involved parent community, academic rigor, and demonstrated commitment to
closing the achievement gap. She is dedicated to integrating technology into teaching and
learning at CCS. For example, she successfully spearheaded a proposal to make CCS an optional
STEAM school with an emphasis on art and technology. Through this proposal, she earned
district support for iPad purchases for shared carts for K-2 and 1:1 devices in grades 3-5, as well
as professional development from Apple. As a leader, Vrvilo says that she keeps data “at the
forefront of planning, analyzing, problem solving, taking action, and either revising or
celebrating.” Her team cultivates a growth mindset by openly involving students in data
assessment so that they can identify areas for growth to set and achieve meaningful goals. Vrvilo
holds an M.Ed. from University of Alaska Anchorage and a B.S. from the University of Oregon.