Tina Jo Fehringer
Tina Fehringer

Tina Fehringer has been principal of Hillcrest Elementary School for 11 years, characterizing her
role as that of the ringleader—“identifying, cultivating, and utilizing the power and knowledge
of the whole school community.” This leadership style is evident in Fehringer’s many successes
in her time at Hillcrest, a rural school where 40 percent of students are English Language
Learners and 75 percent come from low-income homes. Drawing on the leadership of her staff
team, she has cultivated a variety of community and family partnership systems to meet the
fundamental needs of Hillcrest’s underserved students so that all can be come to school ready to
learn. Fehringer has also transformed the school’s culture and performance with a passionate
belief in the power of PLCs, which she implemented carefully over the first two years of her
tenure. Now, with improved communication and collaboration, Hillcrest has moved from barely
meeting state minimum growth standards to exceeding standards annually. First grade reading
proficiencies, for example, have improved from a 6-year average of 54 percent to a 3-year
average of 78 percent under her leadership. Fehringer’s leadership has had impact beyond just
Hillcrest; She led her staff in the creation of a single-format formative assessment which now
serves as a district standard for tracking and celebrating student growth. She holds an M.Ed. in
Educational Leadership, a B.A., and a Teaching Certificate from Idaho State University.

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