Cotsen Alumna Named 2012 National Distinguished Principal

Every year, since being established in 1984, the National Distinguished Principals program honors outstanding elementary and middle-level administrators who ensure that America’s children acquire a sound foundation for lifelong learning and achievement, according to the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP).

This year, Erin Kominsky, Principal at Weaver Elementary in the Los Alamitos Unified School District and alumna principal of the ART of TEACHING program, was named a 2012 National Distinguished Principal.

In October 2012, Ms. Kominsky represented the state of California in Washington, D.C. during a two-day celebration that included a black tie dinner hosted by the United States Secretary of Education at which she received her award, a formal reception at the National Archives, and a tour of the White House alongside honorees from other parts of the United States.

Under Ms. Kominsky’s leadership, Weaver Elementary has been offering Cognitively Guided Instruction in mathematics since 1998 and continues to receive high scores in various assessments. Named a California Distinguished School three times and awarded the National Blue Ribbon in 2005, Weaver, among other things, offers Writing Workshop, the M.I.N.D. Institute, Socratic dialogue, total physical response, and innovative versions of math and language walls. A collaborative environment, Weaver is also home to teachers who implement cutting-edge best practices.

In 2005, Weaver Elementary became a participating school in the ART of TEACHING program, graduating in 2007. Today, Ms. Kominsky and Weaver Elementary remain as active as ever in the efforts of the ART of TEACHING, as many current mentors and fellows continue to visit the school and observe Weaver teachers demonstrate excellence in the classroom. Weaver continues to host workshops and school-based institutes in CGI, language arts, and science, featuring Cotsen alumni teachers and their colleagues doing classroom demonstration lessons and extensive debriefings for current Cotsen mentors and fellows. All in all, Weaver hosted nearly 500 visitors in the previous academic year, making the site a great resource for teachers and administrators.