Gregory O'Connell is the principal at Coolidge Elementary School in Cedar Rapids. Previously he was the Principal at Wright Elementary and beforethat a teacher and facilitator/assistant principal at Grant Wood Elementary School, O'Connell used hands-on activities to engage students, offered Guided Reading instruction and encouraged reading through the Wise Owl Book Club, providing rewards for students who achieved specific reading goals. He participated in the school's mentoring program, helped coordinate a schoolwide cultural diversity program and facilitated the Grant Wood Ambassadors, a leadership program for fifth graders. He has assumed many leadership roles in the school and the district, serving on curriculum committees and as a behavior management trainer and PTA officer. He is also serving as a quality liaison in his building, promoting the district's continuous improvement initiative.