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Press Release

Monday, February 11, 2013

DOE Press Office
850-245-0413

School Administrators Take Top Honors

- School leaders commended at annual summit for outstanding leadership -

Tallahassee, Fla., February 11, 2013 - Two Florida school administrators were recognized today for their superior leadership skills during the eighth-annual Commissioner's Summit for Principals. Former Miami Edison Senior High School Provost Dr. Pablo Ortiz, and Lake Stevens Middle School Assistant Principal Dr. Denise Barrett-Johnson received the 2012-2013 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership and Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award respectively. Both winners are from the Miami-Dade County School District.

Commissioner of Education Dr. Tony Bennett was on hand to recognize effective school leaders from across the state during today's summit. This event brings together Florida's top principals and assistant principals, honoring their accomplishments and providing them opportunities to share best practices on education issues.

"Strong school leaders have a direct impact on increasing overall student achievement," said Commissioner Bennett. "It's with great pleasure that I recognize Dr. Ortiz and Dr. Barrett-Johnson for their remarkable track record of preparing students and teachers for greater success."

Commissioner Bennett presented Dr. Ortiz with a $5,000 check and an additional $1,000 for his school. Dr. Barrett-Johnson was presented with a check for $2,500 and $575 for her school.

The Commissioner's Summit for Principals is hosted by the Florida 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 Disney Youth Programs and Pearson.

Three state finalists were chosen by the department from district nominees and an overall winner was selected from each category. These principals and assistant principals foster a culture that increases student performance, promotes safe learning environments, and establishes partnerships with parents and community members. The finalists for each award are listed below.

Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership Finalists

  • Pablo Ortiz, Miami-Dade County
  • Jayne Ellspermann, Marion County
  • Sandy Moore, Escambia County

Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award Finalists

  • Denise Barrett-Johnson, Miami-Dade County
  • Michelle Rovira Daly, Clay County
  • William McAteer, Marion County

2012-2013 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership district winners receive a certificate, $500 cash award, and $150 for their school. 2012-2013 Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award district winners receive a certificate, $300 cash award, and $100 for their school. A full list of district winners and state finalists is located online.