TPS Principals Selected for "Top 20 Under 40"

TPS Principals Selected for "Top 20 Under 40"
Posted on 08/23/2022

Congratulations to principals Dr. Chelsea Artzer and Mr. Nick Gardner for being selected as Topeka's Top "20 Under 40" Honorees.


Chelsea Artzer
Principal, McClure Elementary
As Principal of McClure Elementary, Chelsea leads the school in advancing each student’s academics, behavior, and social-emotional well-being. These responsibilities are centered around three keys areas; advancing each student’s academics, behavior and social-emotional wellbeing; supervision and evaluation of curriculum, instruction and student assessments; and establishing an effective and inspiring school environment through communication of high expectations for staff and students, enacting policies to ensure a safe and orderly climate, facilitating a leadership team and mental health team while maintaining visibility, cultivating teacher leaders, recognizing staff and student efforts, embedding fun morale building experiences, and fostering positive relationships with stakeholders.
Since 2019, Chelsea has served on the Topeka Public Schools Equity Council to discuss pertinent topics and issues related to increasing equity within the USD 501 school system and community. In addition to this role, Chelsea also serves as the Principal/Site Leader of the Washburn University School of Education Professional Development School which provides aspiring educators the opportunity learns from veteran teachers and engage with educators and students through their practicums and student teaching experience.
Through Chelsea’s professional and personal pursuits, McClure has made significant gains on the state assessments and was recognized as only one of two Kansas State Schools of Character. This upcoming year, Chelsea will be leading McClure in exploring the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program to provide additional opportunities for students to build skills necessary for life post school. Having recognized a lack of access to affordable and reliable before and after school care, Chelsea collaborated with district administrators to establish McClure’s own childcare program to remove financial barrier for many families. Since graduating from college, Chelsea has volunteered her time to support the local collegiate members of Delta Gamma by serving as membership advisors, officer in the Alumnae Group and currently serving on the House Corporation Board.
Chelsea says “I’ve learned that every human has their own story, many of whom experience challenges others could never imagine. Despite these trials, many often express how one small act of kindness completely changed the trajectory of their day, year, or even life. I too have been on the receiving end of kindness that resonated with me in more ways than the giver ever knew. For these reasons, it’s a personal objective of mine to provide a moment of genuine kindness, no matter how big or small, to all those I encourager as the impact of true kindness can never be surpassed”.
Help us congratulate Chelsea Artzer, 2022, Topeka’s 20 Under 40 Honoree!!



Nick Gardner
Principal, Ross Elementary School
Nick is entering his first year as the building Principal at Ross Elementary Signature Music School. Prior to this, Nick was an administrative intern at Eisenhower Middle School. His duties as Principal include leadership with the management, facilitating professional learning, supervising instructional practices, and safety of the staff and students. In his previous role at Eisenhower, he started a male mentoring group. The program involved guest speakers from the community, a college experience at Washburn University and took part in weekly lessons related to setting goals and building confidence. Next year, he plans to have Eisenhower students mentor students at Ross.
Nick says “The responsibilities of being a Principal is the capacity to promote the educational development of teachers and the students in the school. My responsibilities of this position are to provide a school environment where students can learn and perform well not only academically but offer wrap-around services to create a sense of well-being to educate the whole child. Lastly, my duty is to support the community in which Ross resides by connecting the school and community to establish partnership in which we lift each other up to impact students lives.”
Currently, Nick is the Vice President for Topeka Public Schools Minority Leadership Academy and serves on the Topeka Public Schools Equity Council. In 2021, he started a young men’s group for male students at Eisenhower, Achievement Inspired Minds (AIM). In his current role as Principal at Ross Elementary Signature Music School, he directly influences over 500 students, 100 staff and the greater community.
Nick’s impact is within the quote of “leave it better than you found it”. He says “my work and my passion in my previous roles will show this.”
Help us to Congratulate Nick Gardner, 2022, 20 under 40 Honoree!
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