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El Mirage administrators hold up the Model School banner.

El Mirage Elementary School Named 2023 Model School


DYSART SCHOOLS - The International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) named El Mirage Elementary School a 2023 Model School for its focus on relationships and rigorous and relevant academics to impact students.  El Mirage’s Principal, Stephanie Davis, and a team of the school’s teacher leaders will be sharing key strategies from their inspiring journey at the 31st Annual Model Schools Conference, June 25-28 in Orlando, Florida. 

The International Center for Leadership in Education’s mission is to celebrate, inspire, and support today’s K-12 educators, and the award demonstrates that the team at El Mirage Elementary School recognizes opportunities for growth, fosters a strong culture, and holds high expectations for all students. El Mirage Elementary School is one of 30 Model Schools from across the United States that will share best practices at ICLE’s conference. The event provides the inspiration thousands of passionate teachers and leaders need to validate and affirm the great work they do, and to challenge them to share replicable and creative strategies that can produce results in any school. 

Located in the city of El Mirage, Arizona, El Mirage Elementary School is a Title I school that serves nearly eight hundred Preschool through 4th grade students, of which nearly 80% qualify for free and reduced lunch.  Previously, the school was not achieving at a high level, but this school year they were named an A+ School of Excellence by the Arizona Educational Foundation, and an A-rated school according to Arizona state rankings.  

Principal Stephanie Davis attributes the school’s improved academic performance to three strategies - changing school culture with a system of schoolwide expectations; using a research-based curriculum with fidelity; and using data effectively to focus on growth.  

“The staff, students, and community worked diligently to support the growth of our school,” said Davis. “We all focused on our common goal of increasing student achievement. I am proud of what they accomplished to ensure our vision was achieved. El Mirage Elementary strives for excellence every day.”  

“Model Schools are passionate about kids—and their educators are persistent about creating effective learning environments to benefit the students and communities they serve,” says Dr. Linda Lucey, Program Chair and ICLE Associate Partner. “Each of the 2023 Model Schools is proud to share its story of perseverance and strategies others can take away and make their own.” 

About the International Center for Leadership in Education 

The International Center for Leadership in Education, established in 1991, is one of the most influential education consulting companies in America. It is best known for identifying and disseminating successful practices to assist all students in achieving higher standards. The leadership team and consultants at ICLE have assisted numerous state education agencies and hundreds of schools and districts in their improvement initiatives. For more information, visit The International Center for Leadership in Education is a division of the learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. To learn more about the 31st Annual Model Schools Conference, visit

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