At Wrights Mill Road Elementary School in Auburn, many of the fourth graders assigned to Dr. Shannon Brandt's class began as struggling learners—and yet she has helped them achieve significant gains in test scores in reading, language and math. Dr. Brandt individualizes student instruction, examining data to understand each child's strengths and weaknesses and planning her instruction around their needs. She created a monthly skills calendar that serves as a pacing guide for instruction. Other grade levels have since adopted this calendar for use in their classes. Dr. Brandt also developed a weekly schoolwide schedule that provides more time for uninterrupted instruction, grade-level meetings among teachers, professional discussion and data analysis. A frequent mentor to new teachers, her ongoing support has helped Auburn City Schools retain more teachers over the past three years than ever before. It's no surprise that parents of former students have returned to tell Dr. Brandt that they attribute their children's academic success to her excellence as an educator.