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Press Release

Friday, January 21, 2011

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

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

~ Top school administrators recognized for providing outstanding learning environments ~

Orlando – James Griffin, former Principal of Rock Island Elementary School, and current Principal of Lauderdale Lakes Middle School, and Emily Harrison, Assistant Principal of Fruit Cove Middle School in St. Johns County, were announced today as recipients of the 2010-2011 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership and Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award during the Sixth Annual Commissioner's Summit for Principals. The Summit brings together Florida’s principal and assistant principal district winners to honor accomplishments and discuss educational issues of great importance to the state.

“I’m honored to recognize Principal Griffin and Assistant Principal Harrison for their tremendous dedication to creating learning environments that empower students and teachers to reach their full potential,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “Both display an unwavering commitment to their communities and serve as powerful leaders as we strive to challenge all children in Florida to reach unchartered levels of success.”

During the summit, Principal Griffin was presented a check for $5,000, an obelisk, and $1,000 for his school. Assistant Principal Harrison was presented a check for $2,500, an obelisk, and $750 for her school. Both award winners were also presented with a certificate signifying their extraordinary dedication to their schools and communities.

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. Three state finalists were chosen by the Department of Education from district nominees and an overall winner was selected for each category. The finalists were:

Principal Achievement Award

  • Stephen Shell, former Principal of Hobbs Middle School, current Principal of Pace High School, Santa Rosa County
  • Michelle Morrison, Principal of Winter Springs Elementary School, Seminole County

Assistant Principal Achievement Award

  • Claudia Shirley, former Assistant Principal of West Shore Junior/Senior High School, current Principal of DeLaura Middle School, Brevard County
  • Matthew Phillips, former Assistant Principal of Neptune Elementary School, current Principal of Cypress Elementary School, Osceola 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. This year’s Summit included events sponsored by the Helios Education Foundation, GlobalScholar, Learning.com and Pearson.

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.