Florida Honors Outstanding Principals and Assistant Principals

Mickey Mouse wasn’t the only one having a magical time last week, just ask the 37 Florida principals and assistant principals who were honored as the best school leaders in the state.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was serving as a Marion County school principal, so you can imagine how exciting it was to recognize the hard work and dedication of these wonderful leaders. Each of the attendees was nominated by their district to attend the 2014 Commissioner’s Leadership Academy, acknowledging the critical role their leadership plays in student and school success.


Florida’s 2014 Principal of the Year Finalists

I felt very fortunate to know and have worked with several of the district winners. In fact, one of the honorees, Principal John McCollum, was my mentor while I was an elementary school principal in Marion County.

Like John, most of the principals attending the summit came from schools where almost all of their students are on free- or reduced-price lunch plans. What inspires me about these principals is that they do not let a student’s circumstances get in the way of the school’s ability to provide a first-rate education.

When it was my turn to address the attendees, I thanked them for being on the front lines with students, teachers and parents every day. Although the work can be overwhelming, Florida teachers and principals are truly making a difference in the lives of children, ensuring they are prepared for the future…and hopefully having a little fun along the way.

Commissioner Pam Stewart

Florida Department of Education 


3 thoughts on “Florida Honors Outstanding Principals and Assistant Principals

  1. I am disappointed that not one word was made about the February meeting in Orlando, where over 80 citizens representing 100’s of thousands of Florida Parents and students voiced their well researched opinions on Common Core. Are you afraid to make this public so those who were not in attendance can see what is happening to their education system?

    Apparently Jeb Bush paid the department enough with his $14 Million gift to keep everyone’s lips sealed.

  2. I forgot one very important part of our Society who is against Common Core, (Yes I am aware that the State of Florida changed it’s name,) it is still Common Core and directed by the Federal Government, which is illegal. Putting a new coat of white paint over the blue does not change the fact that the blue is still there in it’s entirety, The people are not stupid we can see through this Facade like an open window..

    The NEA president has stated publicly that they are about to lose the support of teacher on committing Common Core, The nation’s largest teachers union is pulling back on its once-enthusiastic support of the Common Core academic standards, labeling their roll out “completely botched.”

    National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel said he still believes the standards can improve education. But he said they will not succeed without a major “course correction” — including possibly rewriting some of the standards and revising the related tests with teacher input.

    Unfortunately the teachers cannot speak out against this for fear of losing their jobs because of the Socialist unions that have their hands tied behind their back. Teachers have to rely on other organizations and parents to speak for them. I personally have talked to teacher in several different localities throughout the state, they hate Common Core, they tell me the majority of their teacher friends feel the same way, you are taking away their exceptionalism, and individualism in instruction in the classroom, putting them under the dictates of the federal government.

    When are we ever going to see education that enhances the brains of our children, advances them through their formative years to where they can graduate from grade 12 and enter into a truly 4 0r 5 year university Program instead of grooming them for Junior college? When are we going educate instead of create pawns for enhancing the states results in test scores based on flawed test programs like FCAT? Teacher do not in this day teach for the enhancement of the student to learn more about the world, industry, history etc, it all about teaching to the almighty test, of which numbers this states juggles every year to make their results look better that what they are. There was a day when we tested against the subjects the students were taking in class, History, geography, Science, Math, social studies, Civic classes, Arts Industrial arts, what happened?

    Today the average student today cannot even point out a map where certain states are in the U.S, or countries on the world map, they know little about WWII, the Civil war, the freeing of slaves , or our founding fathers. .

    Our schools and students have been dumbed down period. I know, I have 8 grandchildren, I talk to them..

    For reference I am a graduate Electrical Engineer from Georgia Tech, I worked in the profession for 40 years, and did some Substitute teaching In Minnesota and Colorado..

    Prior to 1984, this country created some of the greatest minds in Science, Engineering, Medicine, and Technology, that no other country could match. since the inception of the Federal government DOE, it has by the statistics gone downhill steadily to the point where we are today.

    Today we are graduating kids from high school with the aptitude (Maybe) to enter a Junior College. Prior to 1984 when we graduated from high school, we went directly into the Universities of this great country.

    We were a generation that wanted to learn, we were a generation that did not have the federal government controlling and dumbing down our education.

    Every program that the Federal government has illegally pushed down on the states with promises of big money, have been total failures, what makes any of you think Common Core will be any different?

    Where is the money going to come from to finance this “Common Core”? The Orange county school district stated at the meeting, they had already spent $82 million dollars upgrading for Common Core, and expect to spend $229 million more to meet the requirements before the full implementation in 2015, where are counties like Glades, HIghlands, Desoto, Hardee, and Okeechobee ever going to come up with these resources?

    This is not well planned, not well roiled out, a usurpation of the states powers by the Federal government, and special interest people like Jeb Bush, Bill Gates and Pearson, this is a sham on American Education and the Florida Department of education is the Shammer. These special interest will make billions of dollars, while our education levels will fall further behind, this stated by many specialized individuals in the education profession.

    This is not about education as you want people to believe, it is about Money.

    Governor Scott need to take a hard look at his constituents feeling on this program, it could have serious consequences in 2104 election, We are MAD! and Jeb Bush is not going to re-elect him!

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