Daisy Dyer Duerr is an experienced educator, consultant, keynote speaker, and innovator renowned for her work in the professional motivation and speaking industry. Duerr is a highly skilled media & communication professional with an EdS (Educational Leadership) from Arkansas State University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts (History), and a Master of Education (educational leadership & Administration). Her areas of expertise include classroom management skills, social media for the classroom, adult education, classroom teaching strategies, educational technology, and is the founder of the weekly Twitter chat #ArkEdChat.
Reputed for championing education in rural Arkansas, Daisy Duerr is a person who gets things done. She is passionate about technology, and her ability and determination to get things done have made technology accessible to rural schools, creating unprecedented educational opportunities for students. In 2014, she won the NASSP Digital Principal Award and also made it to the finals of the Bammy! Award. Duerr’s work focuses on improving the education of all students regardless of their location or socio-economic background. She helped turn around two schools that were later recognized by ICLE as “model schools”. In 2015, the Arkansas Times named Duerr as one of the leading 20 innovators in the state. The same year Lyon College named her as a Distinguished Alumnus due to her contributions to the field of education. Duerr attended Lyon College from 1993 to 1997, where she studied history on a basketball scholarship and honed her leadership skills by serving as treasurer of the student council and vice president of programs for Alpha Xi Delta.
Daisy Dyer Duerr started gaining nationwide attention during her time as principal of the St. Paul School in Huntsville School District. As principal of the St. Paul School, Duerr worked with the students, staff, and community to promote academic development. By 2013, She was able to move the educational institution from the “needs improvement” category to making them one of the most outstanding schools in Arkansas. Duerr played an instrumental role in this transformation by procuring multiple grants to improve the school’s technology infrastructure. As a result, St. Paul School’s students had unprecedented access to global education through technology.
When Duerr became principal of St. Paul, the school was going through a rough patch with falling enrollments and lackluster test scores. The State of Arkansas was on the verge of taking over the school. Four years after Duerr took charge, St. Paul School was brimming with technology and became one of the best schools in Arkansas.
Between 2010 and 2014, the number of St. Paul students scoring advanced or proficient in statewide assessments increased from 54% to 88% in mathematics and from 59% to 79% in literacy, leapfrogging the state average.
Technology-inspired school turnarounds are very challenging. How did a small unknown school hack it? According to Duerr, who used to oversee over one hundred junior high and high school students and a similar number of elementary school students, success depended just as much on increasing computers and connectivity as it did with fostering relationships of high expectations and trust. Technology allowed St. Paul school to connect with the world, collaborate with educators from across the country and personalize learning for students, resulting in significant academic gains. Duerr’s dynamic leadership nurtured a culture of innovation, making the technology even more powerful.