Three Northern Arizona University graduates are among nine principals named as winners of the Rodel Foundation of Arizona’s Exemplary Principal Initiative for 2011.

The Rodel Foundation released the names of winners last week as part of its annual initiative to recognize school leaders. Rodel looks for principals who inspire their staffs to focus on student success through effective teaching and student management while contributing to the overall success of the institution.

The winners were selected from 14 finalists who are principals in high-need schools in Maricopa, Pima, Pinal and Yavapai counties. Seven of the finalists earned a master’s degree from NAU’s College of Education.

“I often talk about the many wonderful professors I had the honor of working with at NAU,” said Christine Hollingsworth, a 1995 NAU grad and Rodel finalist. “They presented us with real-life strategies that I have been able to utilize immediately upon becoming principal. I truly believe some of these strategies assisted me in being proactive and successful with some of the most difficult issues that face school leaders today.”

The nine winners of this year’s Rodel award each receive a $5,000 savings bond and the role of mentoring three aspiring principals.

“It is an honor for us to be recognized through our graduates’ successes,” said Gypsy Denzine, dean of NAU’s College of Education. “By pairing award-winning teachers and principals with aspiring educators and leaders, the Rodel Foundation is ensuring even more students will benefit from the skills of these individuals. We are pleased to be a partner in their effort.”

NAU works with the Rodel Foundation as part of its initiative to boost student achievement by pairing exemplary teachers in high-poverty schools with promising student teachers.

Of 13 individuals named Rodel Exemplary Teachers last month, nine were NAU alums.

2011 Winners Degree from NAU Year graduated Current City
Tassi Call Master’s 1999 Tucson
Denise Linsalata Master’s 1997 Tucson
Randy Watkins Master’s, doctoral (in progress) 2001, 2011 Surprise
Cole Young Bachelor’s (2), master’s 1992, 1995, 1996 Dewey-Humboldt
2011 Finalists Degree from NAU Year graduated Current City
Christine Hollingsworth Master’s 1995 Peoria
Carrie Prielipp Master’s 2001 Litchfield Park
Lisa Sandomir Master’s 1996 Phoenix