Principal - May/June 2021 - 42

Show & Tell

A Quick Glance @
Dilhani J. Uswatte

Years served as principal: 7
Rocky Ridge Elementary
School, Hoover, Alabama
Education
B.S., Education and Biology,
Queen's University,
Kingston, Ontario
M.A., Ed.D., Ed.S., Education
Leadership, University of
Alabama at Birmingham
Awards & Recognitions
NAESP National
Distinguished Principal 2020
National Milken Award
Educator 2009
Alabama Education Leader
of the Year 2019
Personal credo
" Take the time to inspire and
be inspired. "

*

42

M A Y / J U N E 2 0 2 1 * N A E S P. O R G

Cents and
Sensibility

Alabama principal encourages inspiration, one penny at a time

A

s principal of Rocky Ridge
Elementary School in Hoover,
Alabama, Dilhani " Dr. Dil "
Uswatte built upon her 13
years of experience as a math and
science teacher to build an internationally accredited STEAM school, using
the arts to support other subjects. The
2020 NAESP Principal of the Year for Alabama is a longtime proponent of pre-K
education, and her ongoing impact on
mentoring has helped her garner multiple recognitions.
A champion of intentionality, Dr. Dil
created the Power of a Penny project
(bit.ly/3r9WZ1h) at Rocky Ridge to remind people of the value of inspiration.

It encourages students and educators
alike to offer a penny to anyone who
inspires them-literally paying it forward with a small reward and personal
recognition. Seeing children offer up
hundreds of pennies in the first weeks,
Dr. Dil expanded the project's reach to
encourage mindful inspiration wherever
it exists.
" Hopefully, when people see a
penny, it is a reminder to intentionally
notice those around us, recognize
them, and encourage them to continue their great work, " Uswatte says. " It
is my hope that this project continues
to build not only our community, but
also our world. "


http://www.bit.ly/3r9WZ1h http://www.NAESP.ORG

Principal - May/June 2021

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