Skip Program Navigation
School Ambassador Fellowship

Funding Status
Laws, Regs, & Guidance
Current Section
 Office of Communications and Outreach Home
Dana Leigh Nerenberg
Portland, Oregon
2016 Campus Principal Ambassador Fellow
Principal, Sitton Elementary School

Dana Leigh Nerenberg, Campus Principal Ambassador Fellow
Larger photo

Bio/Overview: Dana Nerenberg is currently the Principal of Sitton Elementary School in Portland, Oregon, where she leads a forty member faculty and staff serving 405 K-5 students. At Sitton, a Title 1 Focus School, Nerenberg launched a Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program, initiated the inclusion model, and established a Common Core-standards aligned education program fostering differentiation for all students. Nerenberg began her career in education as a Teach For America Corps Member in the Mississippi Delta and spent nine years as a classroom teacher in rural Mississippi, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. before becoming an administrator. Nerenberg served as principal of Hyde-Addison Elementary School in Washington, D.C. for eight years. During this time she was a founding principal in the D.C. Collaborative for Change, a network of public schools working together to share best practices.

Educational Values/Philosophy: Empowering children by developing strong skills, understandings, and a passion for learning is the heart of Nerenberg’s work as an educator. In order to achieve this mission, Nerenberg collaborates with teachers to equip and empower each educator with a variety of skills, strategies, and tools enabling the school team to provide supports for differentiation and targeted learning for students. She balances social-emotional development and student choice and self-advocacy with rigorous academics, allowing for optimal learning and growth. Nerenberg strives to embrace diverse learners and cherishes the assets they possess that strengthen the learning community. She fosters collaboration among adults to yield improved outcomes for students through sharing of best practices and sharing in the responsibility of serving students. As a principal Nerenberg partners with families and allows the school team to celebrate and appreciate the range of assets students bring to school each day.

Achievements: In 2013 Nerenberg won the Citizens Association of Georgetown Charles Atherton Award for “Exceptional Service by a Dedicated Public-Sector Professional for Outstanding Work Preserving and Protecting Historic Georgetown. In 2012, her school was selected by the Achievement Network for the Impact Award. She founded the District of Columbia Collaborative for Change, and participated in the American Council of Education, Brazil Educator Exchange Program in 2012 and the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad in Turkey and Cyprus in 2004.

Leadership Experience: Nerenberg served on the Portland Public School Budget Committee and as a member of the Curriculum Materials Adoption Committee for K-5 English Language Arts. Earlier in Washington, D.C. she served as a member of the DCPS Chancellor’s Principals Cabinet and the IMPACT 2.0 Task Force. For the past four years Nerenberg has been an America Achieves Policy Fellow. She has mentored educators and principals throughout her career with TOPS Mentors for New Teachers, New Leaders for New Schools Mentor Principal, and the Mary Jane Patterson Mentor Principal. She currently serves as a board member for, AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation, and Teach For America Alumni of Portland.

Affiliations: Teach For America, Girls on the Run,, America Achieves, AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation.

Education: Dana Nerenberg holds her Bachelor of Arts and Certificate in the Arts in History and Public Policy Studies with an emphasis on Education Policy from Duke University. She earned her Master’s in School Administration and Supervision from John Hopkins University and received her Executive Masters in Leadership from Georgetown University. She is currently working towards her Doctorate in Education Policy at The University of Maryland.

Areas of Interest/Expertise:

  • Special Education and Inclusion
  • Teacher Leadership
  • Teacher Preparation
  • Family Engagement
  • Serving English Language Learners
  • Social Emotional Learning

Last Modified: 10/17/2017