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Principal Jacqueline Byrd Awarded $10,000
2005 Leonard Miller Principal Leadership Award Winner

Jacqueline Byrd, Principal of Reynolds Elementary, Duval County, has won the statewide, $10,000 Leonard Miller Principal Leadership Award, 2004-2005, sponsored by the Council for Educational Change, Florida's Educational Think Tank.

The annual Award is given to one Principal who has increased student achievement, empowered effective teaching and learning, and fostered parent and community involvement. The Award is a tribute to Leonard Miller who founded the Council for Educational Change, and was dedicated to improving education.

Mrs. Byrd demonstrated her excellence in leadership by raising her school's grade from a D to an A, increasing FCAT scores by 34% and pioneering numerous staff development and community involvement programs. Dr. Elaine Liftin, President of the Council for Educational Change the sponsor of the event, commented, "I am extremely pleased to have a Principal and person like Jackie Byrd as this year's award winner. Her leadership is an example of the very best in Florida education. Her students and staff should be very proud."

Jackie Byrd was selected and awarded $10,000 after a rigorous screening and interview process, including a site visit from education and corporate leaders. The finalists were selected from among a pool of 285 prospects who have participated in Council for Educational Change professional development programs and activities focused on leadership. The other finalists were Kimberley Emmanuel from Poinciana Park Elementary in Miami-Dade, Dr. Stacey Mancuso from Design and Architecture Senior High in Miami-Dade, Cindy Massarelli from Choctawhatchee High in Okaloosa, and Dr. Winston Whyte from Howard McMillan in Miami-Dade.

Steve Saiontz, the Council Chair, presented the Award at the University of Miami on Oct. 19 to Mrs. Byrd. Among Mrs. Byrd's "rooting section" at the event was her husband Jason and Duval Superintendent Dr. Nancy Snyder. Her son and daughter, Jason and Jalyn, and teacher Carol Brown from her school, surprised her at the event. A telephonic link to her school was established so her students and staff could share in her experience. Mrs. Byrd is the third award winner and the first from Duval. The two previous winners are: Bart Christie of Miami-Dade and Dr. Pat Dixon of Broward. Bart Christie and Dr. Dixon were present to pass the torch to Mrs. Byrd.

The event was sponsored by: the Cobb Family Foundation, Edward W. Easton, and Richard & Susan Finkelstein.

More information about the Council and this Award can be found at www.changeeducation.org.