Professor Named Florida’s 2019 Principal of the Year

The Union community is sending their congratulations to UI&U faculty member Michelle Kefford who was named Florida’s 2019 Principal of the Year.

The award reflects her commitment to students and her belief in lifelong learning.

“Working with all ages in the pursuit of knowledge is my passion,” said Kefford. “I tell all my students it is never too late to learn. I know the sacrifices my Union students are making to return to school after a long hiatus, and to juggle work and family responsibilities, but we are never too old to learn.”

Kefford has worked in Broward County schools for 19 years, all at the high school level. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Florida State University, a Master of Science in Science Education from Florida International University, and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University.

Kefford has held various positions on district committees. She is credited with school improvement initiatives including a mentoring program called Kefford’s Kids, and the creation of Falcon Flyers, a pathway for middle school students to earn high school credits. Her efforts have resulted in the school earning an “A” for six of the last seven years.

Dr. Thomas Frederick, who chairs UI&U’s General Education program, sees the connection between Professor Kefford and Union’s mission to transform lives and communities.

“She is the principal of a large senior high school, a community leader, a college professor, and a wife and mother. Yet, she still takes time to make each of her students feel special and valued.”

Teaching at Union is a family affair for Kefford. Michelle follows in her mother’s footsteps. Reta Smith also taught at Union as an affiliate faculty member.

The 2019 Principal of the Year award carries a cash prize of $3,500 and was presented to Kefford by the Florida State Board of Education and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. She has been principal at the Charles W. Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines since 2011.

Read more about Michelle and her award in the Miami Herald.

 

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