The 2017-18 Principal Leadership Awards

Sponsorships are still available! Contact our Development Team for more information.


Meet the 2017-18 winners!

Elementary School Winners

Dawn Massey

Florosa Elementary School
Okaloosa County

Margarete Talbert-Irving

Orange Center Elementary
Orange County

Erin Kelly

Imagine Charter School North Lauderdale
Broward County

Middle School Winners

Ahmet Temel

Tallahassee School of Math & Science
Leon County

Carlos Gonzalez

HIVE Preparatory School
Miami-Dade County

Renatta Espinoza

Academy for Positive Learning
Palm Beach County

High School Winners

Ken Granger

Cottondale High School
Jackson County

Jeff Rexford

Lorenzo Walker Technical H.S.
Collier County

Rene Rovirosa

Mater Academy Lakes H.S.
Miami-Dade County

2017-18 Event

April 19, 2018

Loews Sapphire Falls

Orlando, FL 

The dinner is being held in conjunction with the TaxWatch Spring Meeting. To attend the meeting, click here, or to just attend the dinner, please Contact Chris Barry.

About the Awards Program

Building on nearly four decades of serving Florida’s taxpayers by improving government efficiency and taxpayer value in all areas of public policy, Florida TaxWatch established the Principal Leadership Awards program in 2014 to identify Florida’s most effective principals in high-risk K-12 public schools, recognize and reward their work, and promote their transformational practices throughout the state. The goal of the program is to improve student achievement in high-risk schools, thereby closing the achievement gap.

As a nonpartisan, independent 501(c)(3) devoted to public policy research, we pride ourselves on uncovering innovative ideas and policies that can make Florida a national example of excellence, and the Principal Leadership Awards program is a key aspect of what we do. 

This unique initiative identifies principals around the state who have had the greatest impact on their students, in parts of the state where educational success can transform a community. Unlike more common awards programs, our annual winners are not nominated by colleagues, or school boards, or superintendents. In keeping with the TaxWatch research ethos of using data and evidence to recommend policy reforms, this awards program is Florida’s only data-driven principal recognition initiative. 

The program analyzes student performance data over several consecutive years, and the results are weighted to find those principals making a difference in communities that need the attention the most. While Florida can easily point to its highest-performing schools in affluent communities, the principals recognized through this program are those that may otherwise go unnoticed by a statewide audience, but their impact is far greater.   

Each principal recognized is truly making a difference in their school, their community, and the education of Florida’s next generation. While a few strategic changes can help boost achievement scores in schools where success is the norm, the dedication and innovation required to turn a failing or faltering school with limited resources into one where success is expected, and students’ lives are forever changed, can be transformational.


106 N. BRONOUGH ST., TALLAHASSEE, FL 32301     |     TEL: 850.222.5052     |     FAX: 850.222.7476
TEL: 850.222.5052     |     FAX: 850.222.7476

Media Inquiries:  Contact Leah Courtney by Email or Phone: 850.212.5052

Media Inquiries:
Contact Leah Courtney by Email
or Phone: 850.212.5052

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