VIERA—Superintendent Dr. Brian T. Binggeli recently announced the 2011 recipients of the Outstanding Assistant Principal Award. Two administrators have been recognized: Melissa Catechis, assistant principal at Astronaut High School, and Elizabeth Westfall, assistant principal at Westside Elementary.
“The hard work of these assistant principals is an asset to our schools and our community,” Binggeli said. “We appreciate their leadership.”
This prestigious award honors assistant principals who have demonstrated teamwork and leadership skills to increase student performance, promote safe learning environments, and establish partnerships with parents and community members. The Florida Department of Education, in partnership with the Florida Association of School Administrators, coordinates the awards.
Ms. Catechis began teaching in 1993 at Saturn Elementary. She later transferred to Rockledge High as the drop-out prevention teacher in 1995 and remained there until she was appointed as the assistant principal of Astronaut High in 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, a Master of Arts in Elementary Education, and certification in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida.
Ms. Catechis stated, “Since becoming an assistant principal at Astronaut, I have worked hard to build relationships and keep open the lines of communication with all of the AHS stakeholders.” She said that her goal has been to build a collaborative atmosphere through professional learning communities among teachers with an end goal to improve student learning. Her future plans include building a comprehensive Advanced Placement program, increase career academy offerings, and continue to build and improve programs that address the needs of at risk students.
Ms. Westfall began her teaching career at a private school in 1997 and began teaching at Enterprise Elementary in 2005 where she taught kindergarten, fifth grade and was the academic specialist. She was appointed as the assistant principal of Cape View Elementary in 2008 and transferred to Westside Elementary in 2009. She has a master’s in Educational Leadership from Barry University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Florida.
Ms. Westfall says that she is most proud of the shared leadership she currently enjoys at Westside Elementary School. Recently, she applied for and was selected to participate in the Preparing New Principals Program. She is very proud and humbled to receive this honor. Ms. Westfall exclaims, “I am doing what I know I was meant to do, and it feels good to go to work each day and know that I am helping make our community stronger. I am honored and privileged to be a part of this district and the competent leadership that has been modeled for me.” Future goals for this administrator involve furthering her education and career as an educational leader.
Each district is allowed to nominate one assistant principal from its elementary, middle or high schools. Melissa Catechis has been selected to represent Brevard at the state level. The district nominees will be honored by the state later this fall.