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Press Release

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Award Recipients Honored at the Seventh Annual Commissioner's Summit for Principals

- Top school administrators recognized for providing outstanding learning environments -

Tallahassee - Patty Harrelson, Principal of Rosemont Elementary School in Orange County, and Dumarie Rodriguez-Dillard, Assistant Principal of Sanford Middle School in Seminole County, were announced today as recipients of the 2011-2012 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership and Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award during the Seventh Annual Commissioner's Summit for Principals. The Summit brings together Florida's principal and assistant principal district winners to honor their accomplishments and discuss educational issues of great importance to the state.

"I'm honored to recognize Principal Harrelson and Assistant Principal Rodriguez-Dillard for their exceptional dedication to creating learning environments that encourage students and teachers to reach their full potential," said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. "Both serve as visionary educational leaders in their communities and display unwavering commitment to student success."

During the summit, Principal Harrelson was presented a check for $5,000, an obelisk, and $1,000 for her school. Assistant Principal Rodriguez-Dillard was presented a check for $2,500, an obelisk, and $575 for her school. Both award winners were also presented with a certificate signifying their extraordinary dedication to their schools and communities.

The Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership and Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award programs recognize exemplary school leaders 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 for Outstanding Leadership

  • Dr. Anna Griffin DeWese, Fessenden Elementary School, Marion County
  • Hilah Mercer, Cambridge Elementary School, Brevard County

Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award

  • Melissa Catechis, Astronaut High School, Brevard County
  • Ernie Lozano, McNab Elementary School, Broward County

District winners of the 2011-12 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership receive a certificate, a $500 cash award and $150 for their school. District winners of the 2011-12 Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award receive a certificate, a $300 cash award and $100 for their school. The list of district winners can be found at http://www.fldoe.org/profdev/pdwinners.asp and http://www.fldoe.org/profdev/apdwinners.asp.

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 and Pearson.

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