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Oakland Terrace ES Principal Honored with Distinguished Educational Leadership Award

Oakland Terrace ES Principal Honored with Distinguished Educational Leadership Award

Principal Cheryl Pulliam visits with students at Oakland Terrace ES.

Cheryl Pulliam, principal of Oakland Terrace Elementary School, has been honored as this year’s winner of The Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award.

Pulliam believes that communication is key to student success. She has worked hard to make sure that communication extends from teacher to student, parents to principal, and student to student. She has several ways to foster communication—monthly newsletters, staff bulletins and phone calls to parents outlining the school’s weekly activities. Parent outreach activities—such as math nights, literacy programs, ESOL outreach events, and gifted and talented informational meetings—have supported student achievement.

Parents, staff, and students describe Pulliam as a passionate and inspirational leader who constantly encourages students and staff to aim high—as evidenced by the number of students taking more rigorous coursework and in the number of teachers seeking National Board Certification. Always open to new ideas, she is committed to building a professional learning community based on teamwork and shared collaboration, planning, and problem solving. With 735 students from kindergarten to Grade 5 and a staff of 90, Oakland Terrace is the second largest elementary school in Montgomery County.

The school’s growth in overall MSA scores is impressive. In reading, the number of students scoring proficient rose from 72.3 percent in 2004 to 92.6 percent in 2007. Math scores also have soared, going from 58.5 percent proficient in 2004 to 91.3 percent proficient in 2007.

The Distinguished Educational Leadership Award is given annually by The Washington Post to principals in Washington-area school districts who go beyond the day-to-day demands of their position to create an exceptional educational environment.

Last Updated: 4/21/2009