Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School
Alexandria City Public Schools
In his 25-year career as a principal, Rene Paschal has sustained a high level of academic achievement at three schools across two states by embracing a distributed leadership model that engages the strengths, vision, and talent of the teachers he works with. Most recently, as principal of Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School for the last 11 years, Paschal has led the refinement of the school’s modified year-round calendar and Intersession program, which is the only one of its kind in the district. When he first took over as principal, there was pressure from district administrators to align Tucker’s calendar with other schools, but a strong desire in the community to retain the innovative program that had become central to the school’s culture and identity. Over the next decade, Paschal led a comprehensive process to apply principles of the continual improvement cycle to successfully preserve the program, leading a deep curriculum review and providing professional development to the community partners who staff the Intersession to ensure that the program can be responsive to changing needs. Paschal is described as a servant leader who shares the spotlight with his staff, often reminding them that Tucker Elementary “is their house, too.” He holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Kent State University, a Master of Education in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Arizona, and Administration and Superintendent Certification from the University of Phoenix.