Robbie Holder

In her 18 years as principal of L. Mendel Rivers Elementary School, Robbie Holder has led the school in developing a growth mindset grounded in strong goal-setting, high expectations, and shared accountability practices. Holder’s leadership style is collaborative, drawing on a professional community of teachers and informed and involved parents and families. Long an above-average performing school, Rivers has gone on to achieve excellence under Holder’s leadership; the school was named a High Performing Blue Ribbon School in 2016. Serving military-connected students living on Altus Air Force Base, many of whom have already attended multiple schools, Holder leads her staff and parent volunteers in attending to the needs of every child in their transition into their new school home, while assessing necessary supports for academic success. Because of the diverse needs and experiences of her students, Holder is a natural advocate for differentiated instruction and guides her staff in using data-driven practices to set and achieve performance goals that go above and beyond expectations set by state standards. In 2005, Mrs. Holder developed and built the first early childhood education program in her district, which is hosted at Rivers Elementary. She is the 2016 recipient of the Terrell H. Bell School Leadership Award from the U.S. Department of Education and holds B.S. and M.Ed. degrees from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.