LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Heidi Andrews

Position: Principal
School: Bowman Elementary School
School District: Hayward Unified School District
City, State: Hayward, CA

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Music that Describes Heidi

Heidi Andrews was nominated by her colleague, Susan Binford.

Although Ms. Andrews is principal of a smaller school (about 320 students), she makes it a point to know each student and greet them by name when she sees them. She goes out of her way to help students feel welcome. Often, she will pop in for a visit during Zoom classes to offer words of encouragement to the students, as well as a familiar, trustworthy presence. She continues to keep all staff focused on their first priority - the students. She is fair and just when dealing with student discipline, always keeping in mind that the most important thing is to keep the students learning.

Ms. Andrews is a collaborative leader who uses many different vehicles and venues to gather feedback about issues before making decisions. She frequently asks for and welcomes staff input. She is fair and honest with staff, students, and families.

"In the 21+ years I've been teaching, Heidi spent over 16 years in the classroom prior to becoming an administrator, so she deeply relates and connects with teachers on the issues that we experience," said Binford. "I have not seen such a student-centered focus that also takes into account staff needs and concerns. She is an out-of-the-box thinker who welcomes ideas and solutions from all avenues. She's an outstanding leader in our school, and a valuable asset to the broader Hayward community, as well. Her efforts at continuous quality improvement make her a LifeChanger."

Comments (5)

Hidie R Posted over a year ago

Heidi Andrews is a consummate professional who brings her whole self to her role as a principal. She leads with integrity, making choices with the best outcomes for students in mind. She listens deeply and truly wants to understand the experiences of students, teachers and staff to be able to support their needs. She is patient in challenging situations. She elicits and responds to feedback to support teams to work collaboratively. She is fun and funny! She enjoys her work and celebrates our successes. She takes the time to acknowledge and encourage others and is approachable. Heidi is a "teacher's principal." After teaching for so long in the classroom herself, she truly understands the needs of teachers and students. She will perform any role at the school site. She will model a lesson, she'll help a student with a difficult assignment, she'll help people to solve conflicts. While she cares about the success of her school, she truly cares about the people and celebrates when we grow and change and transform.

Joyce Harris Posted over a year ago

Heidi is a caring and supportive principal.she loves the children and looks out for their best. As a supervisor she is sensitive to her staff's needs and gives support whenever needed. She rolls up her sleeves and digs in to help right along with everyone else . She leads by example and not by making demands. I enjoy being part of her staff.

Sarah Brown Posted over a year ago

Ms. Andrews has been an amazing support to parents, students, and teachers during her time as principal at Bowman Elementary School. Ms. Andrews always makes it a point to show up at meetings supporting individual students and their families, and is highly collaborative and empathetic. Heidi has a way of making necessary actions happen while always maintaining humor, relatability, and empathy for the unique challenges of parents. Ms. Andrews has made special effort for children and families, having personal conversations with parents to support students. Heidi also advocates for her colleagues, making sure to "stand in their shoes". I've also seen Heidi's advocacy for students show up in her efforts to secure the necessary resources when students have faced additional challenges during the pandemic. Overall, Heidi is an outstanding leader for her warmth, advocacy, and dedication to students, teachers, staff, and parents at Bowman.

Tiffany Posted over a year ago

Ms. Andrews does a great job connecting with students and goes out of her way to help with the families in our community. She understands the teaching staff very well and always has us in mind when making her decisions, demonstrated by how she always asks for staff input and thoughts in her meetings. She has a kind heart and great leadership, and we are very lucky to have her as our principal.

Sadia Ezat Posted over a year ago

A nice person, who is very good at her job.