Florida TaxWatch celebrates principals, students in at-risk schools
David L. Brewer. Image via Florida TaxWatch.

David L. Brewer III
A record 15 principals and students were celebrated this year.

Florida TaxWatch celebrated some of the state’s hardest working administrators at its Spring meeting in Winter Park.

Members heard stories from education leaders including Rollins College Communications Director Sam Stark, Florida Prepaid College Foundation Director Cindy O’Connell, Florida Lottery Secretary John Davis and The Brewer Leadership Group President and CEO Admiral David Brewer.

They cheered some school-level administrators.

“These principals are the front line of fighting ignorance,” said Brewer, a former Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

He is part of the 100 Black Men of Greater Orlando and attributes their success to counseling.

O’Connell noted that her foundation, in addition to administering the prepaid program, also provides scholarships to students. The organization has awarded 73 two-year scholarships, totaling $281,000, since that program launched in 2017. Past recipients touted the importance of the program in their own lines.

“This scholarship changed my life, and the moment I received it, it also changed the trajectory of my future,” said Raymaiah Scott, a Kissimmee student who received the scholarship in 2019.

Scott just graduated from the University of Central Florida in December with a degree in business administration.

“That is only possible because of the support and community I received in my high school and through Florida TaxWatch,” Scott said.

“This opportunity has helped me not to stress over the burdens like the where, the when, the how and the who.”

As for the Principal Leadership Awards, those were established in 2013 to identify Florida’s most effective principals in high-risk K-12 public schools, recognize and reward their work, and promote their transformational practices throughout the state. This year, the program honored a record 15 principals and provided 15 student scholarships.

“Every one of these principals needs that in their communities,” he said.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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