Stacy L. DeCorsey
Jordan Elementary School No. 717
Jordan School District
Jordan, Minnesota

Stacy L. DeCorseyWhen Stacy DeCorsey assumed the principalship of Jordan Elementary in 2003, she stepped into a leadership position that her predecessor had held for nearly 40 years. Yet DeCorsey has had a distinctive impact at the rural K-4 school. DeCorsey’s accomplishments as a principal include setting a standard for teachers’ professional accountability and requiring staff to base instructional decisions at her school on data. By requiring that teachers analyze student learning data and use research-based best practices, DeCorsey has established a systematic approach to assessing and reviewing instructional methods and materials. To meet the full spectrum of needs of Jordan Elementary’s 624 students, she has guided her school to foster not just youngsters’ academic growth but also to nurture the “whole child.” “Individual student growth is more important to me than being found ‘adequate’ by state or national standards,” says DeCorsey. Her holistic focus on child development has led to initiatives such as providing students with healthy snacks, bottled water at each desk, and exercise balls instead of chairs. Two years ago, DeCorsey started a program through which the school sends food-filled backpacks home weekly with children who qualify for free and discounted school meals. A $10,500 grant from a radio station supports this backpack program. DeCorsey earned a B.Ed. from Dakota State University in South Dakota and an M.Ed. from St. Mary’s University in Minnesota.