She's an educator, mentor, friend and most importantly to the Greater Washington Reading Council, she's been a great advocate for literacy in young students.
Christine Lamb, principal at Groveton Elementary for the past four years, was recently named the Administrator of the Year for 2002-03 by the Greater Washington Reading Council. Lamb was nominated by teachers, staff and community and selected from a pool of more than 100 nominees. She has also been nominated for the Virginia State Reading Association's James R. Mullin Leadership Award, which will be awarded in March to a person who has created significant change.
Berniece Rorie, assistant principal, said, "She's very passionate about reading and language arts. It's very exciting to watch."
"Literacy skills are the path to the future," said Lamb. "I always had a passion for reading and writing."
The changes Lamb has seen during her time at Groveton have been dramatic. Last year, all the students scored at 50 percent or above in the standardized reading tests; this compared to previous scores in the lower two quartiles.
"Prior to this, the ESOL children didn't have a firm foundation. They were disenfranchised learners and couldn't understand what they were reading. We take children as far as we can take them."
To help the children succeed, Lamb believes that the effort has to be all encompassing.
"We look at all the services and make it an inclusive team, using specialized resources."
To help the teachers, she asked instructional services to come and do staff development. "If we can't be good learners, we can't be good teachers," said Lamb. "We always have to push ourselves to grow."
Cheryl Schless, PTA Vice-president for the past two years, said, "She's been a wonderful principal at our school. She cares for the children and literacy is a strong part of our curriculum. She does a lot to make sure that the staff is trained. We have a wonderful reading program and she works closely with the PTA to make sure that we bring in good programs."
Nan Martin is one of the reading teachers at Groveton. She said of Lamb, "What I really value [about Chris] is her depth of knowledge about reading. Teachers get so much because she brings her passion for reading into all that she does in leading the school. She offers so much in terms of material, training for teachers and opportunities for development."
For the parents of the students, Lamb hosts Partners in Print, a program where parents of students in kindergarten through second grade work together to learn how to read.
Lamb knows that itís all worthwhile when parents come up to her with tears in their eyes, and says, "I am so thankful that my child is learning to read."