White House Author
Yvonne Schwab has been the principal at St. James the Less Catholic School for the last eight years. Prior to that, she served as the school’s Physical Education Teacher. At the point she moved into administration, the school’s population had been in serious decline. Mrs. Schwab worked closely with her parish administrator to encourage the Columbus Latino population to attend St. James. She also encouraged other minorities to visit St. James. As a result of her efforts, the population of the school has doubled, test scores have risen, and the school has become a model of differentiation and inclusion. Students are involved in authentic service learning and are able to see that their own financial situation does not prevent them from helping others. Teachers have been trained to address the needs of bilingual students and children of poverty. The school has expanded its arts and music program, has instruction in English and Spanish, and all students learn American Sign Language. Mrs. Schwab and her staff have worked closely with the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Education (ACE). This connection has provided the staff with necessary training for the new population. Yvonne Schwab received the 2011 National Catholic Education Association Distinguished Principal Award. She was also chosen as a 2011 National Distinguished Principal Award Winner. Mrs. Schwab is currently sharing the St. James success story with other schools who want to learn new ways of organizing basic school structures to maximize the learning experience for all students.