The prestigious Principal Leadership Awards (PLA) for the 2023-24 academic year have been announced by Florida TaxWatch, celebrating the dedication and innovation of 15 exceptional school principals across the state.  Established in 2013, the PLA program is designed to acknowledge educational leaders who demonstrate a commitment to positive change in the lives of their students while sharing effective practices with their peers.

Florida TaxWatch Acting President and CEO, and Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Jeff Kottkamp, highlighted the crucial role that principals play in shaping the educational landscape.  “Principals are the lifeblood of Florida’s schools – as leaders in their schools, they support and motivate hard-working teachers and ensure students of all ages are provided ample opportunities to succeed. That’s why Florida TaxWatch established this one-of-a-kind Principal Leadership Awards program, now in its 11th year, which uses comprehensive data to determine the most effective principals in our state and reward them for the transformational impact they are having both in their schools and in their communities. And this year, we have the privilege of honoring 15 deserving principals, the most in the history of the program, so that is extremely exciting. Congratulations to all of the winners!”

Among the distinguished winners is Terry Huddleston, the Principal of Branford High School, who has demonstrated exemplary leadership and commitment to the success of the students under his guidance. Huddleston's dedication has not only elevated the educational standards at Branford High School but has also positively impacted the wider community.

In addition to recognizing outstanding principals, Florida TaxWatch went beyond by awarding a two-year scholarship to a graduating senior from Branford High School. The scholarship recipient, Kaylynn Dees, expressed her interest in pursuing a cosmetology certification, showcasing the diverse talents and aspirations of BHS students.

Congratulations to Mr. Huddleston and scholarship recipient Kaylynn Dees for their dedication to excellence in education. Their achievements stand as a testament to the positive impact that effective leadership and educational support can have on the future success of students in Suwannee County.