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Press Release

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Award Recipients Honored at the Fifth Annual Commissioner’s Summit for Principals

~ Top school administrators recognized for providing outstanding learning environments ~

TAMPA – Douglas P. Rodriguez, Principal of Ronald Reagan/Doral Sr. High School in Miami-Dade, and Stephanie C. Soliven, Assistant Principal of Cocoa High School in Brevard, were announced as the recipients of the 2008 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership and Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award last night during the Fifth Annual Commissioner's Summit for Principals. During the summit, Principal Rodriguez was presented a check for $5,000, and Assistant Principal Soliven was a presented a check for $2,500. The schools in which these outstanding educators serve will each receive a check for $1,000. All award winners were presented with a certificate signifying their dedication to their schools and communities.

“I’m honored to recognize Principal Rodriguez and Assistant Principal Soliven for their tremendous work in fostering learning environments that allow students and teachers to reach their full potential,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “Their deep and binding commitment to their schools and communities serve as shining examples for us as we work to help our children succeed.”

The Principal and Assistant Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership recognizes exemplary individuals who spearhead initiatives to increase student performance, promote safe learning environments and establish partnerships with parents and community members. State finalists were chosen from district nominees by a statewide selection committee, and an overall winner was selected for each category. The finalists were:

Principal Achievement Award

  • Douglas P. Rodriguez, Ronald Reagan/Doral Sr. High School – Miami-Dade, Winner
  • Elizabeth Wierda, Cunningham Creek Elementary School – St. Johns County
  • Judith E. Winch, Westside Elementary School – Volusia County

Assistant Principal Achievement Award

  • Stephanie C. Soliven, Cocoa High School – Brevard County, Winner
  • Julia Clemons, Key Largo School – Monroe County
  • Kelly Baysura, Fellsmere Elementary School – Indian River
  • Jennifer Avellino, Parkway Elementary School – St. Lucie County

The Commissioner’s Summit for Principals is hosted by the Department of Education and supported by the Florida Education Foundation, the Florida Association of School Administrators and the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. The Summit included events sponsored by the Helios Education Foundation and Office Depot Foundation.

For more information about the Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership Program and the Outstanding Assistant Principal Award Program, please visit http://www.fldoe.org/profdev/cpaa.asp.