Tallahassee, Florida -- A Sarasota County principal and a Highlands County assistant principal are among six state finalists in a prestigious award given out by the Department of Education.

Florida Governor Rick Scott made the announcement via Twitter on Dec. 23 identifying the following finalists up for theDepartment of Education's Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership and the Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award.

Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership finalists are:

  • Eric Lundman, East River High School, Orange County
  • Dr. Barbara Shirley, Alta Vista Elementary School, Sarasota County
  • Brian Kingsley, Gulfstream Middle School, Broward County

Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award finalists are:

  • Brooke Loyed, Patronis Elementary School, Bay County
  • Jo-Anne Misiewicz-Selter, Flamingo Elementary School, Broward County
  • Jeannie Inagawa, Cracker Trail Elementary School, Highlands County

The awards recognize outstanding leaders who have increased student performance, promoted safe learning environments and established successful partnerships with parents and community members.

Superintendents selected the nominees from each district which were then submitted to the Department for review by a diverse selection committee comprised of former program winners, representatives from leadership and parent organizations and the current Florida Teacher of the Year. The committee then recommended the finalists to the Commissioner.

"This was a very difficult decision because there are so many incredible leaders in our schools around the state. Great leaders are crucial to the success of our schools and our students," said Commissioner Pam Stewart. "I am honored to recognize these exceptional administrators who nurture positive school environments and ensure their students have every opportunity to succeed in college, career and life."

Statewide winners will be announced in February at the annual Commissioner's Summit for Principals and will be awarded a cash prize of $5,000 for the top principal and $2,500 for the top assistant principal.

To learn more about the Department of Education's programs to recognize the contributions of outstanding school administrators, classroom teachers and education support personnel, visit Recognition Awards.

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