Sarasota educator named finalist for Florida Principal of the Year

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – She’s served almost 30 years as an educator and now for the first time in her career, Dr. Rachel Shelley is one of three finalists for Florida Principal of the year. And to celebrate, Sarasota county school officials greeted Dr. Rachel Shelley at Booker High School with a big bouquet of flowers and congratulatory balloons.

“It’s a testament to our hard work. Our dedication and commitment to the goals we have for our students and the vision we have,” said Dr. Shelley.

After she was congratulated, the principal took a short walk across campus to the school’s media center and stood in front of a couple cameras along side school officials to record a message to students that announced her as a finalist for Principal of the Year.

When the message was finally broadcasted, the entire student body went wild cheering for their favorite principal.

“Dr. Shelly is a very solid figure in my life. Without her guidance and her expectations for us as students I probably wouldn’t know where I was going or doing after high school,” said Booker High School student Erin Lee.

“She’s a person that knows every single name of every single student on campus,” said another student, McKensie Murray.

The teens had this to say about the prospect of Dr. Shelley not becoming Principal of the Year.

“If she does not win, I will be very shocked and disappointed,” said Yamiya Jones.

“If Dr. Shelley doesn’t win this award I don’t know who would because she is honestly the best principal ever. It’s got to be rigged,” said Katherine Herbert.

The results of this year’s Principal of the Year award will be presented in a ceremony at the Dr. Brian Dassler Leadership Academy on June 21.


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