Outstanding Principal Award Recipient

2020 – Erin Salberg

Nashold Early Childhood Center, Rockford

B.A. Elementary Education and Teaching, Elmhurst College
M.A. Curriculum and Instruction, National Louis University
M.A. Principal Prep, Concordia University
Golden Apple Teacher award recipient 2014

Erin taught first grade in the Rockton District from 2006-2015. From 2015-2016, she was Assistant Principal of Rockford Public Schools’ Creative and Performing Arts Academy/ Gifted Academy. Since 2016, she’s led 450 Pre-K – fifth graders and teachers as principal at Rockford’s Nashold Elementary.

To Erin, supporting student growth starts with empowering and educating teachers. With that in mind, she provides professional learning community meetings, offers quality professional development opportunities; links teachers’ professional goals or interests with those of students; and encourages teachers to learn from both peers and teachers of classes their students will move on to. Erin knows the importance of family in a student’s success and that learning isn’t limited to just academics. She’s implemented many new committees, tactics and resources to help teachers teach to the whole child including Calm Down Corners; task forces (socio-emotional, literacy and numeracy); Class Dojo to communicate with families; and a period at the start of the year to familiarize students with expected behaviors. When a new tactic doesn’t work, because, sometimes they don’t, Erin accepts that. She then works with staff to find alternative ways to reach the desired results.

This hands-on principal is very visible! Erin drops in on classes to congratulate students who met a goal or just to play. When the school’s short-staffed, you’ll see Erin pitching in where needed, from loading buses to teaching classes. Her love of children is clear on “Tuck in Tuesday” videos on Nashold’s Facebook page, where she invites teachers, students and their families into her home to watch her read to her own children. Some children watch weekly, calling her “the teacher who comes on my computer to read to me”! She chooses her stories with intention, often consulting teachers to align them with academic vocabulary, concepts and goals and she greets viewers by name. This cozy activity boosts the feeling of community and family involvement while extending learning outside the classroom. Viewership averages 400 views week! She continued this practice during the Coronavirus shutdown, maintaining a sense of comfort and consistency in a time that could feel chaotic and unsettling. Erin leads by example, believes in her teachers and put the children first, always.