2019 Heart of the School Award Winner

Danielle Tillman-Cromartie

Harford Heights Elementary School

Principal Danielle Tillman-Cromartie understands the importance of commitment, trust and engagement – three values she has instilled at Harford Heights Elementary since taking over the school two years ago. Her approach has helped this “turnaround school” – at one point one of the lowest performing in Maryland – shift its school culture and make consistent gains in student scores. She has worked to build trust within the community after years of high educator turnover while emphasizing the importance of parents’ engagement with their child’s education. And students find themselves staying longer and doing more at Harford Heights – with new after school dance clubs, mentorships, tutoring opportunities and even a new robotics class – more than half of the students are involved in an extracurricular activity, where two years ago these opportunities were nearly nonexistent.