The White House honored Linda St. Andre, principal of Governor James B. Longley Elementary School in Lewiston, among 12 distinguished school turnaround leaders named “Champions of Change” last week.
When St. Andre became principal of Longley in 2010, the school had been identified as one of Maine’s lowest performing schools and was in the process of accepting a federal School Improvement Grant (SIG). As a result, Longley became the first Maine school to implement the turnaround model.
At the “Champions of Change” event, educators from across the country were recognized for their work building a culture of high expectations, improving instruction, creating safe environments for learning, and fostering professional collaboration, among many other notable efforts to better the quality of education.
St. Andre graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington with a dual degree in learning disabilities and elementary education. She has worked for Lewiston Public Schools for over 30 years in various teaching and administrative positions including special education, elementary education and Title I coordinator.
The SIG program invests in locally driven efforts to turn around the U.S.’s persistently lowest-performing schools. These schools are characterized by consecutive years of low attendance rates, low student achievement, low graduation rates, and high rates of staff turnover and student disciplinary action.