FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The School District of Lee County has announced their Principal of the Year and Assistant Principal of the Year for 2019.
Their Principal of the Year is Melissa Robery of East Lee County High School. Robery was appointed to her position in January 2018 and quickly developed a plan. “After reviewing all of the school data, we determined that our focus had to be on individual students. We were going to build relationships, address the needs of individual students, track student data and most importantly tell students every day that we believed in them.”
Five months later, 81% of the senior class got their diplomas and the school missed a “C” grade by .03%. At the end of the 2018-2019 school year East Lee had improved enough to easily earn a “C” and be removed from state supervision.
“More importantly,” Robery says, “Staff and students are excited to come to school, student attendance percentages continue to increase from the previous year’s attendance, each cycle, and the total number of discipline referrals have dropped dramatically.”
The Assistant Pricipal of the Year is Jackson Morgan of Lehigh Elementary. He was appointed in 2014 after ten years of teaching in various elementary schools.
At the time, he says scores were on the decline, behavior was interfering with instruction and teachers were unhappy. “As a former special education teacher,” Jackson says, “I was particularly keen on helping my teachers become better teachers for those students. I immediately began working with these teachers and our academic coaches to support them. I focused on providing teachers with professional development in the curriculum they used and provided coaching support.”
Teacher retention is now at all-time high at Lehigh Elementary, while student performance and behavior are improving.
Nominations for Robery as Florida Principal of the Year and Morgan as Florida Assistant Principal of the Year will be sent to the Florida Department of Education by Superintendent Dr. Greg Adkins.
The DOE will announce the finalists in January and the winners by early March. Each award comes with a $5,000 cash prize.