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Florida Administrator Named National Principal of the Year

Florida's Jayne Ellspermann Awarded 2015 National Principal of the Year

Jayne Ellspermann of West Port High School in Ocala, FL, has been named the 2015 National Principal of the Year.

Ellspermann was granted this title by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, according to a press release. The award was announced on Monday at a surprise assembly at the school, where Pam Stuart, Florida commissioner of education, elected state and local officials, students, teachers, and Ellspermann’s family attended.

The announcement “came as part of NASSP’s celebration of National Principals Month.”

“Mrs. Ellspermann drives the ship where student achievement is paramount,” said Superintendent George Tomyn of Marion County Public Schools in the press release. “She believes in students and pushes them to succeed by convincing them the future is theirs to conquer. She also makes this possible by developing and leading dedicated teachers and hard-working staff members."

Ellspermann has been a principal at West Port for 10 years, and has spent her time developing “a college-going culture personalized for students.”

“At West Port, lunchtime is often “PowerHour,” a student-empowerment initiative Ellspermann launched giving students autonomy over an hour of their school day for academic enrichment, open labs, clubs, and other creative opportunities,” said the release. “Three years of PowerHour has produced a more personalized and successful school environment: course failure has nearly disappeared, the graduation rate has jumped 15 points, and participation in activities has increased seven-fold to nearly 70 percent."

West Port, the release said, is also an “A school and boasts the highest test scores in the district.”

"Jayne Ellspermann simply sees no limit to her students’ potential nor to the school’s potential to help them fulfill it," said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti in the release. "Her passion and focus on personalization, academic rigor, and collaborative leadership -- hallmarks of Breaking Ranks framework for school improvement -- keep her moving ever forward to find creative ways to ensure each student in her school is known and well served."

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Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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