2 Tampa Bay area principals are finalists for ‘Florida Principal of the Year’

Dr. Kevin Hendrick is principal at Northeast High School in Pinellas County and Dr. Rachel Shelley is principal at Booker High School in Sarasota County.

(WFLA) — Two local principals are in the running for Florida’s Principal of the Year award.

Dr. Kevin Hendrick, who is principal at Northeast High School in Pinellas County and Dr. Rachel Shelley, who is principal at Booker High School in Sarasota County are finalists for the award.

With more than 28 years of experience in K-12 education, Dr. Rachel Shelley has been praised by her colleagues for her dedication to helping every student succeed and for relationship-based leadership,  said the Florida Department of Education in a news release announcing the finalists.

Dr. Shelley motivates students with her mantra, “Every student is college and/or career bound.” Dr. Shelley is a hands-on instructional leader who understands the value of data, and she tracks her schools and students’ performance measures to help her make informed decisions.

Dr. Kevin Hendrick has been principal of Northeast High School for the past eight years, during which he developed and implemented a Finance Academy for students to earn industry certifications, increased Advanced Placement course offerings, improved the college enrollment rate and increased the school’s average ACT score, according to the Florida Department of Education.

With the motto, “go high or go home,” Dr. Hendrick has encouraged every student to work toward college and career readiness.

Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart announced the finalists for Florida’s 2017 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership (Principal of the Year) and the Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award (Assistant Principal of the Year).

The awards recognize principals and assistant principals for their exceptional contributions, and the statewide winners will be announced during a ceremony on June 21.

“I am pleased to recognize these six finalists for their tremendous dedication to the schools and communities they serve,” said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. “Principals and assistant principals create an environment for success in their schools, and I am grateful to each of these individuals for their service to Florida’s students.

The third finalist for Principal of the year is Dr. Earl Johnson, who is the principal at Matanzas High School in Flagler County.

The three finalists for Assistant Principal of the Year are: Dr. Jacqueline Smith, who is assistant principal at  Hollywood Hills High School in Broward County; Marlene Staughan, who is the assistant principal at Mount Dora High School in Lake County; and Kelly Stedman, who is assistant principal at  James Stephens International Academy in Lee County.

The state’s top administrators will be named in a ceremony at the Dr. Brian Dassler Leadership Academy on June 21. The recipient of the 2017 Principal of the Year will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and $1,000 for their school. The 2017 Assistant Principal of the Year will receive a cash prize of $2,500 and $500 for their school.

Candidates for these awards were nominated by the superintendent from their respective school districts.  Here are the complete lists of candidates from each district for Principal of the Year and Assistant Principal of the Year.





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