St. Ann Elementary School


One of the principles behind St. Ann Elementary School’s success is letting students take the lead. When framing the school’s strategy, Principal Theresa Tillinger is careful to articulate what the school avoids doing. They do not over-structure, over-guide, or over-prescribe. In fact, Tillinger describes the teacher’s role as providing a vision and a nudge but then remembering to “get out of the way” so that students can take responsibility. St. Ann School shows that when students feel ownership over what they’re learning and doing in school, they learn passionately. Give them an opportunity to apply their talents in the real world, and they’ll still light up when they describe it months later. Encourage and reward empathy – for fellow students as well as for people halfway around the world – and empathy will thrive.