"I try to impress upon my students that we can rise above our circumstances to achieve whatever goals we set for ourselves," says Julie Williams, principal of Hunters Lane Comprehensive High School in Nashville. In response to one of the great challenges facing her school, Dr. Williams has implemented a program to address the problems of high dropout and retention rates. That effort, now known as the Making Connections program, is an intensive summer review of core courses for seventh- and eighth-graders who have not been promoted. Once school is in session, the personal and academic progress of program students continues to be closely monitored. The program's success is reflected by a 30% increase in student promotions, and Dr. Williams would like to extend the program to include all students at her school who are at risk of failure.
Vanderbilt University, B.A.