2021 A.O.Y. Finalist - Debby Wilton

Meet Debby Wilton

Middle/High School Principal & Superintendent, Landmark Academy

Debby Wilton is an incredibly dedicated educator. She joined Landmark Academy right as the school opened in 1999 - over 20 years ago and never left! Since the schools' inception, she has served in a variety of positions from middle school teacher to Title IX Coordinator to her current position. No matter what her official role is at the school, she feels it’s her job to create an environment that her students are safe, happy, and continuing her learn. By keeping 100% of her teachers and graduating plenty of “Lifetime Lakes” - students who have gone to Landmark K-12, she’s definitely holding herself to those standards. She’s already helped her community in so many ways, but she’s nowhere near done. As far as she’s concerned, she’s just getting started!

A headshot of 2021 AOY Finalist, Debby Wilton.
A headshot of 2021 AOY Finalist, Debby Wilton.
A headshot of 2021 AOY Finalist, Debby Wilton.

How do you live out your school's mission?

At Landmark Academy, we are dedicated to helping our students find their unique gifts and talents so that they can head out into the world knowing themselves and what they want to do with their lives. I feel that it is my role to create an environment for our staff and students that is safe and promotes learning. In order to do this, my staff must know they are valued and have autonomy in their classrooms. I build relationships with my staff first, listen to them, and encourage them to work together with their teams. When a challenge is presented to me, I work with a team of people to create a resolution that is best for the students. My office is in the middle/high school building and I leave my door open as much as possible. I work to get out into the building so I am visible. I make time to talk with staff or students when they come to see me to help foster closer relationships and trust. 

What is the most important element of strong leadership?

I definitely believe that empowered educators are the basis of everything that happens in your school. If they’re not part of making decisions at your school, it’s very hard to make the change, and it’s so hard to ensure you have what all the students need to learn. So for me, starting our professional learning communities and seeing them start to work, seeing them empower educators to make a difference, has made me so proud. 

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