2016 Principal Winner
SCHOOL: Beaver Ridge Elementary School, Gwinnett County Schools
This inviting space will be a fun, welcoming environment to positively impact student learning through hands-on practice of standards and skills in the area of STEM. Students will learn to persevere through difficult problems and appreciate the feeling of productive struggle. Students will grow to understand the importance of teamwork and have many opportunities to practice the skill of communicating and working together to accomplish a task. These are important skills that are needed in school, college, and career. When these skills are continually practiced in the environment of the Collaboratory, they will transfer to the classroom as teaching and learning continues.
PROJECT: Student Collaboratory/Makerspace
Mrs. Karen Lillard knew from a very young age that she wanted to work in the field of education. She has a passion for students, teachers, and families. Mrs. Lillard began her career in Birmingham, Alabama as a second grade teacher before moving to Gwinnett County, Georgia in 1998 where she has worked as a classroom teacher, Early Intervention Program teacher, gifted education teacher, and administrator. She joined the staff of Beaver Ridge Elementary in 2009 as an Assistant Principal and moved into the Principal role in 2013. She loves helping her 1300+ students in the Title I school DREAM BIG about their future. She promotes high school graduation, college, and future goals with students through morning messages and written goals. Mrs. Lillard believes in the importance of providing innovative learning experiences for kids.