Broward County’s teacher, principal and assistant principal of the year have been announced, according to a news release from the school district.
Broward’s top school-related employee was also honored at the 2020 Caliber Awards Ceremony Thursday. The prestigious event took place at the Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center.
Cari Rodriguez, of Harbordale Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale, was named teacher of the year. Rodriguez has been an educator for 21 years and spent the past six at Harbordale. She currently works as a literacy coach at the school.
“Whether building an igloo while studying the Inuit, eating pasta puttanesca while reading, or dancing and singing multiplication facts, I want my students to enjoy learning,” she said.
Melissa Holtz, of Wilton Manors Elementary School, and Sean Curran, of Fort Lauderdale High School, were awarded principal and assistant principal of the year, respectively.
Holtz, who has served as principal of Wilton Manors Elementary for eight years, oversees a cluster site of 60 students with autism, according to a news release.
“When I get to see a student with Autism Spectrum Disorder become mainstreamed – sing with the choir, run for student council, earn honor roll and so much more – but when those things happen, it reminds me that all students can grow and learn,” she said in a news release.
Before he was an assistant principal at Fort Lauderdale High, Curran was an English language arts teacher, literacy coach and magnet coordinator. He has served as assistant principal for five years and believes students “deserve an individualized and comprehensive education.”
“We need to ensure that we provide a learning community that allows students the freedom to explore their place in the world and instill in them the confidence to pursue their goals,” he said.
Jane Fleming, the office manager at Pioneer Middle School in Cooper City, was named the school-related employee of the year.
Fleming has worked as Pioneer Middle’s office manager for 28 years out of 31 years working for the district. In addition to her regular duties, she is the principal’s secretary and is described as “impeccable, self-motivated, with exceptional knowledge in her field and well-organized.”
More than 600 nominees and 16 finalists were recognized at the ceremony.