Liz Whisnant

Principal, Horace Mann Elementary School

Advisory Board Member, Principals’ Center at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and National Network of Schools Partnership

Liz Whisnant has served as principal of the District of Columbia Public Schools’ Horace Mann ES since 2005. Horace Mann is only one of four schools in the nation to receive the US Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award five times, most recently in 2017. She currently serves on the Advisory Boards of the Principals’ Center at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and the National Network of Schools in Partnership. In 2008, Liz co-founded with several principal colleagues the District of Columbia Collaborative for Change (DC3), a reform structure for school improvement in DCPS whose mission is to craft schools that are inspiring places to teach and learn.

Prior to Mann, Liz served as the founding academic principal of Trinity Episcopal School, a K-8 school, and Hidden Valley Elementary School, a PreK-6 school, both in Charlotte NC. She also worked in Seattle as a principal coach for the University of Washington’s Center for Educational Leadership. She launched her education career as a classroom teacher in Boston, MA.

She holds degrees from Harvard University, Lesley University, the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, and recently completed an Executive Masters in Leadership at Georgetown University. She is the proud mother of Max, a Mann graduate and a college freshman, and the lucky spouse of Steve Whisnant to whom she is perpetually indebted for his extraordinary example of what it means to lead a purposeful life.