TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Principals are critical leaders in the education system. They are effective managers, role models and are the face of the school to families and taxpayers. For these reasons and many more, Florida TaxWatch, the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit public policy research institute, is proud to have established the Principal Leadership Awards program in 2013 to identify Florida’s most effective principals in K-12 public schools.
This year’s top performing principals who have helped students achieve in Florida’s high-risk public schools were recognized on Thursday, November 17th, at the 4th Annual Florida TaxWatch Principal Leadership Awards at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando.
Each of the 2016 top prize winning principals received $5,000:
- • Alexandra Prieto, Somerset Academy Miramar, Broward County – Elementary School division
- • Kim Register, Vernon Middle School, Washington County – Middle School division
- • Carlos Alvarez, City of Hialeah Educational Academy, Miami-Dade County – High School division
The remaining 2016 award-winning principals received $1,000:
- • Jeffrey Pegg, Wynnebrook Elementary School, Palm Beach County
- • Edward Burke, Lantana Middle School, Palm Beach County
- • Eduardo Tagle, Ben Sheppard Elementary School, Miami-Dade County
- • Nataly Parra, Lincoln-Marti Charter School, Miami-Dade County
- • James Neer, Monarch High School, Broward County
- • Larry Moore, Graceville High School, Jackson County
Principals Pegg, Parra and Moore have been recognized for their dedication to students and have taken on new career challenges during the process of selecting them as Principal Leadership Award winners.
The Florida TaxWatch Principal Leadership Award is the only honor given to principals who exceed expected learning gains for at-risk students in high-risk schools.
Recognition is based on analysis of student achievement gains in reading and mathematics in schools that have high percentages of students with disabilities, students designated as English as a Second Language learners, and those eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch. No nominations were accepted for the awards; the Principal Leadership Awards is an entirely data-driven program based on performance and results.
Speaking to the principals, House Speaker-Designate Richard Corcoran said “You have a friend in the Florida House, you have fighters in the Florida House and you have people who will die for the things you are doing in your schools, the successes you are having and we will do whatever it takes and fight on that battlefield with you.”
“These nine principals are shattering the status quo and giving these students an opportunity to be successful not just in the classroom, but outside it as well,” said Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro. “This year’s honorees prove that by putting students first, we can foster a learning environment that leads to a successful and fruitful education and life. These results, with the right leader, can be realized in every school across the state and nation.”
"At the Florida Lottery, our sole mission is to support Florida's students and schools by generating additional funds for education," said Florida Lottery Secretary Tom Delacenserie. "We have been a proud sponsor of TaxWatch's Principal Leadership Awards and look forward to many more years of honoring the outstanding educators who dedicate their lives to making a positive impact on our communities by helping our students succeed."
“As a business leader, I understand the importance in preparing all students for success in the classroom and beyond,” said Florida TaxWatch Chairman David Mann, who also serves as the Chair of the Florida TaxWatch Center for Educational Performance and Accountability and SunTrust Commercial Real Estate Banking Group Executive Vice President. “These award-winning principals are helping tomorrow’s business leaders achieve extraordinary learning gains and I thank each of them for their excellent work.”
The principals will be joined by their friends, families, colleagues and program sponsors at the Wednesday ceremony in Orlando. Without the support of our generous sponsors - The Florida Lottery, J.M. Rubin Foundation, BrightStar Credit Union, Verizon, State Farm, Florida Association of School Administrators, Wells Fargo, the Florida Press Association, the Florida Prepaid College Foundation, Universal Orlando, Ajax Building Corporation, Bright House Networks, Kyra Solutions, Lifetouch, AAA – The Auto Club, and the Tampa Bay Times – this program would not be possible.
To learn more about the program, click here.