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Rocky Ridge Elementary Principal Becomes First AL Administrator to Serve on Board that Oversees The Nation’s Report Card

November 15, 2022

(Hoover, AL) - Rocky Ridge Elementary School Principal Dr. Dil Uswatte was appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), which oversees and sets policies for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation’s Report Card. 

NAEP provides objective information on student performance and reports on student achievement across the nation, in states, and in select large urban districts.

Dr. Uswatte said, “I feel both blessed and honored to serve as Alabama's first principal on the National Assessment Governing Board. I hope to make Alabama proud, especially my Hoover family! I could not have accomplished this and previous achievements without the incredible support from Hoover City Schools. From professional development as a teacher to opportunities for leadership, this school district has helped me to achieve many educational dreams.”

NAGB is a 26-member Governing Board and is responsible for deciding which subjects NAEP assesses, determining assessment content, setting achievement levels that describe student performance, and pursuing new ways to make NAEP results useful and meaningful to the public.

In a news release from the NAGB, Executive Director Lesley Muldoon said, “After the disruptions of the pandemic, evidenced by stark declines on The Nation’s Report Card last month, it’s more important than ever to help educators and families understand how children are progressing academically and how best to help each and every one of them succeed. Dr. Uswatte’s distinguished record as a STEM teacher, principal, and mentor to fellow educators will strengthen the Board’s efforts to ensure that The Nation’s Report Card informs educational recovery and acceleration efforts nationwide.”

Hoover City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee O. Fowler said, “The Hoover City Schools District is beyond proud of Dr. Uswatte. She is a phenomenal educator and administrator with an undeniable passion and enthusiasm for impacting student growth and achievement. Her outstanding leadership abilities have had a tremendous impact on Rocky Ridge Elementary School and the district as a whole. We are excited about the wealth of knowledge and expertise she’s bringing to the National Assessment Governing Board that will ultimately impact the success of students across the country.”

The NAGB touts Dr. Uswatte’s two decades of experience working with students, families, and teachers. Under her leadership, Rocky Ridge earned international STEM accreditation through AdvancEd (now Cognia), becoming the first school in the district and the 11th in the state to do so. Uswatte was inducted into the Alabama Teacher Hall of Fame and named the 2019 Alabama Education Leader of the Year and is a 2020 National Distinguished Principal. In 2009, she received the National Milken Educator Award.

“My experiences working with people in this community, principals across the state, and educators across the nation via the Milken Award Educator Network have helped me realize what I call "The Power of WE!"  We can achieve anything when we harness our collective talents and have a common vision to improve education for ALL,” said Dr. Uswatte.  “As a member of NAGB, I look forward to aligning this belief with the vision of the Governing Board to serve as a catalyst for action to improve student achievement; inspire improvement in the quality of assessment and standards; and tell the stories of American achievement for all, over time and in context,” added Dr. Uswatte.

Dr. Uswatte was nominated for the elementary school principal representative on the NAGB by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the Alabama State Department of Education, and the Milken Foundation. She was appointed to the Board by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and will serve a three-year term.