Brenda LoPresto, principal at Peoria Elementary School, 11501 N. 79th Ave., Peoria, is the 2020 recipient of the Raymond S. Kellis Leadership Award for school administrators.
When she arrived at PES the school had “D” grade from the state. Student attendance was abysmal, classroom achievement was lacking, parental involvement was waining, and teacher moral was finding a new low, Peoria Unified School District stated in a news release.
Ms. LoPresto dug in and spent the better part of a year turning the tide at PES by openly engaging teachers and parents. She challenged students with activities that made them want to participate. Community organizations supported the improvements in a variety of ways.
This year PES was notified by the state of its “B” grade for performance. Student attendance increased, and family nights at the school are busy with participants.
Ms. LoPresto, a PES graduate herself, also attended Peoria High School.