Gradient Learning

School Leader of the Year

This award honors Summit Learning and Along principals and assistant principals who rethink, reimagine, and rebuild education by passionately working together with their communities.

Our inspiring recipients

These educators impacted positive change in their communities by collaborating with enthusiasm and compassion.


Dr. Dawn Krueger

Heath Middle School
Greeley, Colorado


It’s rare to find Dr. Dawn Krueger still during school hours. The former athlete is often on the move throughout the newly renovated school, where she is known to fill in for teachers at a moment’s notice if needed. Krueger embraces the importance of educating the whole student, and credits her son, Brady, 19, with making her a more human-centered school leader.

Christopher D. McAdoo

Pathways Middle College
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


A proud father of four daughters and husband of a fellow educator, Chris McAdoo’s family inspires him every day in his role as a school leader. McAdoo leads his community with humanity, humility, and a healthy dose of humor. He isn’t shy about sharing his own life experiences to help connect with his students. McAdoo also teaches a math class and is the head coach of the school’s golf team.


Catherine Hunt

K-12 Principal
Northport School District
Northport, Washington


Catherine Hunt made an immediate impact on her tight-knit community when she arrived in Spring 2020. As K-12 Principal, Catherine does whatever needs to be done each day and starts each morning by greeting all students by name as they arrive. Originally from Alabama, the mother of five leads by the motto, “Today is a good day for a good day.”

Chris Lin

Assistant Principal
Intrinsic Schools, Belmont Campus
Chicago, Illinois


After 11 years as a teacher, Chris Lin remains passionate about rolling up his sleeves and helping students with their work. But as an Assistant Principal, Chris is now able to spread his infectious love of learning throughout his community. The former tennis and robotics coach leads with a team-first mentality and brings joy by wearing costumes on spirit days and producing slideshows to celebrate colleagues.

Norma Penny

Founding Principal
Carter Lomax Middle School
Pasadena, Texas


“The world changes, and we as educators need to change with it.” Those words were said by the late Norma Penny, who inspired the Gradient Learning School Leader of the Year Award and is a posthumous recipient this inaugural year. Penny embodied the characteristics of a school leader who enthusiastically led the change in education throughout her 15 years as principal of Carter Lomax Middle School.


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