The state’s top administrators were announced yesterday in a ceremony at the Commissioner’s Summit for Principals.
Hunt has been a principal for 10 years, during which time she has been involved in a new school opening, establishing parent-teacher organizations, building mentoring programs and drafting grant applications that have benefited her students. She is described as an exemplary instructional leader and has been commended for empowering her teachers to be leaders. Under her leadership, Eustis Heights has improved its school grade from an F to a C (based on 2014-15 simulated school grades).
The other finalists in the Principal category were Tamie Stewart of Parkside Elementary in Collier County and Steven Royce of Tara Elementary in Manatee County.
“What Rhonda Hunt has done at Eustis Heights is nothing short of outstanding,” said Susan Moxley, Ed. D., superintendent of Lake County Schools. “She has a way of inspiring and bringing out the best in her students, faculty and staff. Parents and the community as a whole have supported her efforts. Together, they have done what’s best for students and produced tremendous results. To say Lake County Schools is proud to have her on our team is an understatement. She represents the best of Lake County Schools and we are excited that she is being recognized statewide for her success.”
Chad Frazier, assistant principal at Eustis Heights, was a finalist for the state’s Assistant Principal of the Year award along with Kahlil Ortiz of Dommerich Elementary in Maitland. Anne Bieber, assistant principal at Vero Beach High School, received that honor.
Frazier’s colleagues expressed an appreciation for his passion for learning and willingness to take on challenges toward an identified goal, as well as his dedication to creating innovative solutions. In just one year, he has already made an impact on Eustis Heights. With the support of his principal and through collaboration with school faculty, Frazier was able to reduce truancy by 50 percent during the 2014-15 school year.
“Mrs. Hunt and Mr. Frazier are a great team,” Dr. Moxley said. “We are thrilled for both of them.”
As recipient of the 2016 Principal of the Year award, Hunt will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and $1,000 for her school. The 2016 Assistant Principal of the Year will receive a cash prize of $2,500 and $500 for the school.