When Yvonne Allen became principal of Whiteville Elementary School in 1979, she transformed a troubled school into a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, implementing numerous programs to enhance parental and community involvement, staff development, and schoolwide self-esteem. After devoting her entire first summer to the physical improvement of the building and grounds, and promoting the school through the local media, Allen convinced a previously disaffected community to stand behind its school. The Pre-school Intervention Program, the first of its kind in her community, and Project ADVANCE, a discipline program for at-risk students, are two of several innovative programs that Allen implemented. In 1993 and again in 1995, Allen was honored with an Outstanding Service Award by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). In 1997, Allen was among several educators who hosted President Bill Clinton at the NAESP convention in Arlington, Virginia.