Since Vicky Lester became principal of Pajarito Elementary School in Albuquerque, the school has become a curriculum model for the district and the state, standardized test scores have reflected improved academic achievement and the Pajarito community has increased its involvement with the school. Furthermore, the school's Time-on Task Language Arts Block is a model program throughout the area. The uninterrupted morning sessions that comprise this revised block schedule have had a significant impact on increasing students' self-esteem, reading levels, love of reading and test scores. "I believe that increasing instructional time and setting high expectations for all children is the key to success," says Mrs. Lester. At her school, Mrs. Lester has created a highly successful recordkeeping system that tracks student academic performance and improvement. She is also actively involved in the design and implementation of a professional development program for elementary school principals.
2000 University of New Mexico, Ed.D.