Bessie Stewart-Ross, a retired principal from the San Mateo-Foster City Schools in San Mateo, CA. She was a classroom teacher for more than twenty years and a California public school administrator for eighteen years. As a school administrator and educational leader, Bessie had many accomplishments. In 1994, she became principal of a low performing, neighborhood school located in a low wealth neighborhood. Her charge was to develop a public Montessori magnet program, increase academic performance and attract students throughout San Mateo. With continuous targeted staff development through retreats, on site training and district training, student success and pride became a reality. This was evident through Academic Performance Index (API) and Adequate Yearly Performance (AYP) achievements. Numerous grants were sought and received, including a Federal grant of approximately $800,000 for three years. The federal grant funds provided weekly music and art to the curriculum, training for staff, and resources. Most importantly, Bessie was able to sustain high parent and community participation such as monetary donations, parent sponsored school wide events, and classroom aides/tutors. Through their participation and district funds, the school underwent a complete modernization, which provided a beautiful curb appeal both inside and outside of the school. Students also enjoy a state of the art computer lab and media center. In addition, Bessie was able to develop a partnership with the Jewish Coalition of Literacy, maintaining a positive commitment of approximately 25 tutors over a period of five years. Currently, Bessie is mentoring Columbia Teachers College Interns of New York and first and second year administrators (principals) through the University of California in Berkeley in their graduate school of education. A native of Louisiana, Bessie lives in San Mateo, CA with her husband Thomas. They have two grandsons, Brandon & Justin, and a granddaughter, Lauryn, who lives in Tampa, Florida with their parents, Earl and Robyn.