Brain-based research lies at the core of Carla Bittner's teaching philosophy. Currently the principal of National Park Elementary School, Mrs. Bittner was trained in the Schools Attuned approach and is a leader in incorporating the program's neurodevelopmental techniques, from "think-alouds" and self-coaching to interventions and computer programs that help students organize their thoughts before writing. She was instrumental in initiating multi-age classrooms at her previous school, Evergreen Avenue School, as the first step in a restructuring of the school that has led to dramatic improvements in student performance. Her leadership and expert teaching helped language arts scores rise from 16.1 in 1998-99 to 75 in 2004-05. Similarly, math scores increased from 35.5 in 1998-99 to 72.3 in 2004-05. Students in Mrs. Bittner's classes regularly outperformed students from other fourth-grade sections in the district, and she helped profoundly reduce the number of discipline referrals at the school. Her success in using her brain to help students develop theirs has made her one of the nation's most outstanding educators.