Year Honored: 2012Deerfield Elementary School
At the time of the Award, Allan Cameron was:Principal
Deerfield Elementary School
Subject(s) taught: General Elementary
Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
A former Boston College practicum instructor and Army
National Guard veteran who led the "about-face" at
Deerfield Elementary School in Westwood, Massachusetts,
Principal Dr. Allan Cameron is a clear-cut winner. With
growth and achievement at the top of his list, failure—
for students or for staff—is never an option. “A rare
educator for whom theory and practice are seamlessly
integrated” is just one of many comments on his
Discipline problems are no longer an issue at Deerfield, which has turned around since Cameron came on board. He greets every boy and girl each morning, knows their academic strengths and weaknesses, visits classrooms regularly and even teaches lessons. He also established a successful professional learning community focused on common planning time and support. Fastidious in his pursuit of continuous improvement, Cameron distributes an anonymous feedback survey to assess his performance. And in a weekly staff newsletter, he shares examples of best practices that he has observed among his talented staff.
Students are the ultimate beneficiaries of this schoolwide culture of excellence. For three years in a row, Deerfield student achievement scores have been tops in Massachusetts in most categories for grades 3 and 5. Overall, 2011 MCAS data show a 95 percent proficient rate in reading and an 89 percent proficient rate in math.
Among his many other leadership activities, Cameron led the district's kindergarten committee in expanding the program to a full day, and is the Mentor Program leader, teaming up veteran teachers with those new to the profession.