Home arrow Latest News arrow Lizi Aguilar-Nelson named Elementary Principal of Year
Lizi Aguilar-Nelson named Elementary Principal of Year Print E-mail

lizi-aguilar-nelson cropped.jpgLizi Aguilar-Nelson, Richmond Elementary School Principal in Salem-Keizer since 2007, has been named the Oregon Elementary School Principal of the Year by the Oregon Elementary School Principals Association (OESPA) and the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA).  This award automatically places Aguilar-Nelson in the running for the National Distinguished Principal of the Year Award from the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), in corporate partnership with VALIC.

Lizi has been with the Salem-Keizer school district for the past eight years and principal of Richmond for the last five years.  In her short time at Richmond she has helped bring them from one of the most distressed schools in the Salem-Keizer district to the top Title I school in Salem.  The achievement gap has narrowed and in some cases even reversed.  She has expanded the bilingual instruction to grades 2-5 and introduced Literacy Squared methodology.  In addition, she has introduced Professional Learning Communities to the staff.

Under Aguilar-Nelson’s leadership parent involvement has increased as well as the parent expectations of the students.  She has successfully reached out to all family types and backgrounds in the Richmond community.  One of the ways in which she did this was through the implementation of the Safe and Civil Schools program.  Through this program a dramatic difference in school culture, expectations and student conduct were noted.

Lizi was nominated by a strong group of parent supporters.  In their nomination letter it states, “Before, our children did not leave Richmond ready for middle school.  It was our children, caught between two languages but mastering neither, who were failing in middle and high school. Due to the efforts of Lizi and the environment and support that she has brought, today our children are successful in school and enthusiastic about their educational future.”

Salem-Keizer School District serves approximately 40,378 students in 43 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, 8 high schools and 4 charter schools.  It is the second largest school district in Oregon.  60% of the student population is considered living in poverty based on the numbers who are receiving the Federal Free and Reduced Meal Program.  Approximately 63 different languages (other than English) are heard at home by Salem-Keizer students.   Richmond Elementary services about 350 students in grades K-5, 78% of those are Receiving Free and Reduced Meals.

As an Oregon winner, Lizi will be honored at the Annual COSA conference in Seaside in June.  She will also attend a special recognition ceremony in Washington D.C. in October.

About COSA and OASSA

The Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) serves and represents more than 2,000 school administrators, managers and executives.  COSA was founded in 1974 to give Oregon's education leaders a united voice in helping to shape public policy, advocate for schools and speak on behalf of students. In addition to advocacy, COSA supports and develops educational leaders with professional development opportunities -- including statewide conferences, regional seminars and workshops, and much more -- and a number of exclusive member services. Areas of focus include school finance and legislative services. A member-driven umbrella organization, COSA is governed by an elected Board of Directors that represents the organization's four Departments: the Oregon Association of School Executives (OASE), the Oregon Association of Secondary School Administrators (OASSA), the Oregon Elementary School Principals Association (OESPA) and the Oregon Association of Central Office Administrators (OACOA).  For more information, visit www.cosa.k12.or.us.

This page was last updated on Tuesday, August 07, 2012 .