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Bordenkircher, Straughan named Principal, Assistant Principal of the Year

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David Bordenkircher, principal of The Villages Elementary School, has been named Lake County Schools’ principal of the year and will represent the district as a candidate for the state’s 2016-17 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership.

Marlene Straughan, assistant principal at Mount Dora High School, has been named assistant principal of the year and will represent the district as a candidate for the state’s 2016-17 Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award.

Bordenkircher has been an employee of Lake County Schools for 29 years and served as an elementary and high school principal for 14 years of his tenure. He continues to be a leader of leaders in the district by providing opportunities for job-embedded professional development of his staff. He empowers his teachers and staff to be leaders and lead learners.

He has served on our collective bargaining team for many years and is well versed in the collective bargaining process and management of human resources. He also serves on several district committees representing major initiatives in the district. He has been instrumental in serving on several hiring committees for district level positions. Most recently, he led a districtwide best practices sharing session with elementary principals at our annual administrative leadership conference. Participants were engaged and his expertise was well received.

Straughan was a Social Studies teacher at Mount Dora High School from 2008 to 2013, when she was named assistant principal. She has distinguished herself as an outstanding leader in many ways, but most notably in her commitment to improving the Mount Dora High School graduation rate, which had been in decline for two years. Her plan was extremely comprehensive, aggressive and successful – the graduation rate improved by almost 6% and indicators are strong that the success will continue. Her 10-point action plan for the school provided the foundation for evolving the graduation action plan for the entire district.

The Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership was established in 1988 to recognize exemplary principals for their contributions to their schools and communities. The program honors principals that have spearheaded initiatives to increase student performance, promote safe learning environments and establish partnerships with parents and community members. Each district may nominate one principal. Out of three finalists, one will be selected as the state winner. Last year, Eustis Heights Principal Rhonda Hunt was the state winner.

The Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award was established in 1997, to recognize exemplary assistant principals for their contributions to their schools and communities. The program honors assistant principals that have used teamwork and leadership skills to increase student performance, promote safe learning environments and establish partnerships with parents and community members. Each district may nominate one assistant principal, and one will be named the state winner