won the Washington Post’s 2016 Principal of the Year Award. It appears that Mr. Taurianen is an outstanding choice. From the Post article by Perry Stein:, leader of the AppleTree Institute Early Learning Public Charter School’s Columbia Heights Campus, has
“When Tauriainen started as the principal at the Columbia Heights campus in the 2013-2014 school year, 66 percent of students were meeting the school’s target goals for language and literacy, and 82 percent were meeting math goals, according to Anne Zummo Malone, AppleTree’s chief of schools.
In his second year as principal, 95 percent of students hit their language and literacy goals, and 91 percent reached their math targets.”
Ms. Stein describes Mr. Tauriainen as a teacher’s principal meaning that he especially enjoys getting into the classroom and participating in instruction directly with the children. He is also apparently extremely supportive of his staff, helping others to improve their pedagogical skills, and even paying for pedicures for educators that are having a bad day.
The 2016 Washington Post Teacher of the Year received some excellent training here in the nation’s capital. He started out at KIPP DC and did a principal fellowship at one of the Friendship Public Charter Schools. He then realized that he could have his biggest impact focusing on early childhood education.
The award is only the first step in Mr. Tauriainen’s future plans. Ms. Stein quotes the AppleTree principal as asserting, “I just want to keep moving. I wanted to run a building. Then I want to run a school system. And then after that, I want to work at the Department of Education so I can have an impact nationally.”
I have been a tremendous fan of AppleTree PCS for years and the institution’s effort to close the academic achievement gap. I interviewed its founder and CEO Jack McCarthy back in 2014. In addition, and not to take away from Mr. Tauriainen ‘s outstanding achievement, gratitude should be offered to Fight for Children for the group’s strong support of improving the lives of low income kids. Fight for Children was an early financial backer of Appletree, and Friendship PCS is a participant in the non-profit’s Joe’s Champs program for training teachers in early childhood education.
Congratulations Mr. Tauriainen on your award.