IMMOKALEE — On Monday, May 3, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) will proudly announce that Principal Zulaika Quintero of Immokalee Community School in Collier County is among the nine winners of the Florida TaxWatch 2020-21 Principal Leadership Awards (PLA). Through the program, Principal Quintero has also identified one deserving student to receive a full two-year Florida College Scholarship.
The award and scholarship were presented to Principal Quintero and the student at a ceremony on the campus of Immokalee Community School at 1 p.m. on Monday.
Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro said, “The data speak volumes about these principals. Despite their schools’ high-risk designations, student performance continually improves, giving thousands of children – Florida’s next generation – the opportunity to become confident young adults and ultimately reach their full potential. Florida TaxWatch is honored to join the Florida Prepaid College Foundation and our many generous partners to recognize these outstanding educational leaders through the Principal Leadership Awards program.”
Florida Prepaid College Foundation Director Cindy O’Connell said, “Every day, the work of these dedicated principals dictate which opportunities for success will be available to our children and how their educational experience will mold them into a future leader and productive member of our society. The Florida Prepaid College Foundation is proud to support the Principal Leadership Awards with the Foundation’s Academic A+ Challenge Match Scholarship Program. We look forward to helping these nine students realize their potential, and we thank Florida TaxWatch for its commitment to highlighting the good works of these public servants and unyielding dedication to education in Florida.”
About the Principal Leadership Awards Program
Established by Florida TaxWatch (FTW) in 2013, the Principal Leadership Awards (PLA) program serves to acknowledge and reward educational leaders like Principals Stovall and Mills who are creating meaningful change in their students’ lives, while also promoting their uniquely effective practices among their peers. This program, which is the only one of its kind nationwide, recognizes nine of Florida’s most successful principals from high-risk K-12 public schools across the state (three principals each from elementary, middle, and high schools, including traditional and charter public schools). Principals are selected based on weighted Department of Education data, not through nominations.
Additionally, FTW is partnering with the Florida Prepaid College Foundation and private corporate sponsors to provide one student from each winner’s school with a two-year Florida College Plan Scholarship. The winning students are selected by their principal and must meet several criteria that would traditionally make attending college, let alone paying for it, a significant challenge. Through these scholarships, this transformational program is able to change deserving students’ lives and help close the achievement gap.
The PLA program would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors, including: The Florida Lottery, Charter Communications, Clear Channel Outdoor, FBMC, The Florida Prepaid College Foundation, Helios Education Foundation, RS&H, Inc., JM Rubin Foundation, Verizon, Florida Power & Light, Florida Trend, and Dominic and Debbie Calabro.
For more information, including a full list of the 2020-21 PLA winners, visit https://floridataxwatch.org/Programs/Principal-Leadership.
About Florida TaxWatch
As an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit government watchdog and taxpayer research institute for more than forty years and the trusted eyes and ears of Florida taxpayers, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) works to improve the productivity and accountability of Florida government. Its research recommends productivity enhancements and explains the statewide impact of fiscal and economic policies and practices on citizens and businesses. FTW is supported by its membership via voluntary, tax-deductible donations and private grants and does not accept government funding. Donations provide a solid, lasting foundation that has enabled FTW to bring about a more effective, responsive government that is more accountable to, and productive for, the citizens it serves since 1979. For more information, please visit www.floridataxwatch.org.