Steven L. Carlson

After a successful fifteen-year career as an administrator at Grace B. Wilson Elementary School, where he successfully launched a professional learning community program, Steve Carlson took the helm of Judy Nelson Elementary School in 2015. Under his guidance, the school’s leadership team has initiated programs such as the “genius hour,” a weekly opportunity for students to unleash their creativity through projects, performances, and presentations in an area of interest. The initiative has resulted in exciting outcomes; Fourth grade students have produced videos, and sixth graders have taught lessons to their grade-level peers. The leadership team also recognized that students were no longer energized by the accelerated reader program and that parent involvement was waning, so they initiated a schoolwide reading initiative, selecting Roald Dahl’s The BFG for family and school reading activities, including a kick-off assembly where many teachers dressed as characters from the book. To support teachers through challenging shifts in mathematics instruction, Carlson hired a specialized trainer to guide them in best practices for teaching the Common Core, including demonstrated lessons for each grade level so teachers could see their own students persevere and make sense of math problems without reliance on a set procedure or algorithm. Carlson holds a B.A. from North Park University and an M.A. from New Mexico State University.