Commissioner Corcoran Names Florida’s 2019 Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year

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Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership

The 2019Principal of the Year was awarded a cash prize of $3,500. The four other state finalists were awarded a check for $1,000, and each district winner was awardeda check for $270.

Michelle Kefford, Charles W. Flanagan High School, Broward County
Michelle Kefford has been an educator for more than 19 years and has been the principal at CharlesW. Flanagan High School since 2011. With her at the helm, Flanagan High Schoolearned its first ever A and has received an A for six out of the seven years. Sinceher tenure as principal, she has initiated several programs including“Kefford’s Kids,” a mentoring program and “Falcon Flyers,” an initiative toenable middle school students to earn high schools credits at Flanagan High. Asa passionate educator, she has held various positions on district committees;volunteers on several city and county committees; and works continuously tobuild school pride and staff morale.

The four other Principal of the Year finalists are listed below:  

  • Joshua Balkom, Deane Bozeman School, Bay County  
  • Cynthia Emerson, Vero Beach Elementary, Indian River County
  • David Alfonso, Palm Beach Lakes High School, Palm Beach County
  • Linda Burris, Largo Middle School, Pinellas County

Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award

The 2019Assistant Principal of the Year was awarded a cash prize of $2,500. The four other state finalists were awarded a check for $750, and each district winnerwas awarded a check for $205.

Bernadette Pletcher, James Tillman Elementary, Manatee County

Bernadette Pletcher has been the assistant principal at James Tillman Elementary school since 2014. While she has been assistant principal, James Tillman Elementaryhas improved its school grade from an F to a B.  She is known as anextraordinary educational leader that promotes learning and growth for allstudents through effective partnerships with families and staff members. Hercolleagues described her as an innovative life-long learner who instills apassion in her students and staff.  

The four other Assistant Principal of the Year finalists are listed below:  

  • Derek Negron, Carol City Middle School, Miami-Dade County
  • Tiffany Scranton, Mellon Elementary School, Putnam County
  • Samantha Piscopo, Dan McCarty Middle School, St. Lucie County
  • Angelia Stuckey, Suwannee High School, Suwanee County

The Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year awards are sponsored by the FloridaLottery.

Candidates for these awards were nominated by the superintendent from their respective school districts. Complete lists of candidates from each district for both categories are available online: 2018-19Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership District Winners and 2018-19Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award District Winners.

The Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership was established in 1988to recognize Florida principals for their contributions to their schools and communities. The Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award was established in 1997 to honor assistant principals that have utilized teamwork and leadership to increase student achievement and greatly improved school environments.

For more information about Florida’s educator recognition programs, visit http://www.fldoe.org/teaching/recognition/.

###For more information about the Florida Department of Education, visit www.fldoe.org.

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