School: LaSalle Backus Education Campus
School District: District of Columbia Public Schools
City, State: Washington, District of Columbia
About the Nominee: Ms. Willis is an immensely positive force at LaSalle-Backus. Through Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), restorative justice, and collaboration with colleagues and students, Ms. Willis finds creative alternatives to traditional discipline. She is exceptionally passionate about ending the school-to-prison pipeline. She has partnered with social services at the school and built collaborative partnerships with outside organizations to provide wraparound services for students and parents.
Ms. Willis holds in-service element sessions for faculty and staff to help reduce disciplinary referrals while building a positive school culture and climate. She works closely with the LEA representative to ensure that students who receive special education are provided supports to reduce behaviors that could lead to disciplinary measures. Ms. Willis goes above and beyond by creating personal relationships with staff, administration, parents and students. Students often seek out Ms. Willis to talk through life issues and seek advice. Ms. Willis works relentlessly to help students recognize and actualize opportunities for their future. Dean Willis is an outstanding life-changer who is changing the life of each student she encounters.