• Administrative Team

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Mr. Mike Bender, Principal

Dear Lilburn Elementary School Community,

I am humbled and honored to be principal of Lilburn Elementary and be a part of this excellent school community! I can assure you that I share in this school community’s dedication to caring for each and every student while providing them with a meaningful learning environment.

Although I am an educator, I am also a husband and dad with two children who love sports and outdoor activities. I like reading when I have downtime, and I also try to stay active—I recently began Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and am learning a lot about myself through this practice!

The 2023-2024 school year will mark my 24th year in education. I spent four years teaching and coaching at Meadowcreek High School, so I am very excited about this opportunity to return to this area of the county. In addition to my work at the high school, I served as principal at Woodward Mill Elementary. I have also worked at two middle schools in Gwinnett County.

I firmly believe that every child can exceed and that the cooperation between home and school builds trust and self-esteem in students. I look forward to partnering with families and the community, and I welcome conversations with you about our school. We are looking to open the school to more activities and events for families during the 2023-2024 school year.

To our students, I hope that you all are excited about this school year. It will be a meaningful and fun year, and we will be learning together to achieve the highest accomplishments. 

To conclude, I sincerely welcome your input, conversation, and engagement in our school community. Let us keep our students the primary focus of our work. I cannot wait to celebrate our collective successes during the 2023-24 school year!

Sincerely,

Mike Bender

Principal

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Dr. Noreen Freeman, Assistant Principal

I am honored to be a member of the administrative team at Lilburn Elementary. I serve 2nd and 3rd grades and coordinate our school's Multilingual Learner's program. My teaching career began in New Jersey, and this year marks my 17th year in teaching. I have taught Middle Grades: Social Studies and Language Arts. In the elementary grades, I have served as a Resource Teacher, Grade Chair, a Gifted Teacher, STEM Instructor, and taught Second and Fifth Grades. Additionally, I have been an Instructional Coach, and a Teacher Leader-Mentor.  

My educational background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, Psychology and a Minor in History from Kean University in New Jersey, a Master’s Degree in Special Education (Mild Disabilities), from Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia, a Specialist’s Degree in Teacher Leadership, and an add-on certification in Leadership from Mercer University in Atlanta, and a Doctoral Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Lincoln Memorial University. As a member of the Lilburn family, our focus is on building parental engagement, collaboration for continuous improvement, and utilizing best practices to guide our teachers and students to reach their highest potential.  I am proud to learn and lead with the amazing faculty and staff at our school. 

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Dr. Heather Mitchell, Assistant Principal

I cannot believe I have begun my 6th year as an administrator at Lilburn Elementary School. Each year gets better and better as we welcome new students, make lasting memories and grow together as a community.  I am the Assistant Principal for kindergarten, First Grade and special areas.  In addition, I coordinate safety and security at the school as well as coordinate testing.  

I have a Bachelor's degree in science from North Georgia College, with a Biology major and Chemistry minor.  In addition, I have a Master's degree in reading education from UGA. In 2010, I received my Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from UGA, with a focus on assessmet. It was one of my proudest moments. Without the support of my friends, family, and colleagues, I'm not sure I would've been able to complete it.

Prior to coming to LES, I was a teacher at Cedar Hill ES in Lawrenceville. I began my career there as a first-grade teacher.  After several years, I became a mathematics coach and served in that capacity for nine years. While the experience was amazing, I greatly missed being a classroom teacher where I had my "own" group of students to whom I would dedicate my time and hard work to ensure they were successful.  I knew it was time for me to go back into the classroom! For the next two years, I taught third grade and loved it tremendously.  However, at the conclusion of that year, I had an opportunity to transition into a position teaching science to all grade levels.  Since math and science are my passion, I was very excited to share my love of science with my students, especially since years prior I had been able to do that with math.  

During my third year as a science specialist, I was accepted into the GCPS Aspiring Leaders Program.  The experience was amazing, and I learned so much about how to be an effectively leader.  I completed the program in the Spring of 2018 and accepted an AP position at Lilburn Elementary.  I look forward to many more wonderful years at LES!

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Mrs. Adrienne Pope-Wright, Assistant Principal

Greetings, I am proud to be a member of the administrative team at Lilburn Elementary School. The faculty, staff and students all contribute to the continued excellence that we experience here, and we are truly committed to being the B.E.S.T.

The 2023-24 school year marks my 22nd year as an educator. My teaching career began in Augusta, Georgia, where I spent 6 years teaching grades Kindergarten, Second, Third, and Fifth grades. I began my career here in Gwinnett County at Minor Elementary School teaching Fifth Grade and serving as an Interrelated Resource Teacher. I went on to teach and serve as department chair and teacher mentor at Ferguson and Shiloh Elementary schools before arriving here at Lilburn Elementary to join the administrative team.
My educational background includes a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership (Georgia State University), a Master of Arts Degree in Special Education (University of Phoenix), and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education (Georgia Southern University). Outside of school, I enjoy visiting museums, reading, movie nights with my family, traveling, and sampling different foods from various restaurants.

I love working with our students and their families to ensure that all students are provided all opportunities for learning and growth. If I can be of any help to you, or there is something you need to know, I welcome all questions and concerns and truly believe that with the help of our community, staff, and parents, our students’ successes will continue to grow and flourish.

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Mrs. Tisha Williamson, Assistant Principal

I am proud to be a member of the Lilburn Elementary administrative team serving students and teachers in 4th and 5th grades, and the gifted program. At Lilburn Elementary we are a family. We believe our students deserve the best education possible, and we are committed to giving them our best every day.

This school year marks my 28th year as an educator in Gwinnett County Public Schools. I have taught grades kindergarten, first, second, and fourth. I have served as grade-level chair, teacher mentor, and instructional coach.

My educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Psychology from the University of North Georgia, a gifted certification from Gwinnett County Public Schools, a Master of Science in Teaching and Learning from Nova Southeastern University, and a Leadership Certification from the University of West Georgia.

Education is my passion. I believe that being an educator is the most important and influential position a person can have. Being an educator is a privilege and I take great pride in partnering with teachers, parents, and our community to guide students to reach their fullest potential.