State Finalist for Principal of the Year Named



Contact: Cristen Maddux

Telephone: 772-564-5527




March 12, 2019


Vero Beach, FL, March 12, 2019– The Florida Department of Education has announced that Cindy Emerson, Principal at Vero Beach Elementary School, is a State Finalist for the 2019 State of Florida Principal of the Year. After receiving the good news, a gathering of students, teachers, family members, and District staff, was planned to surprise Mrs. Emerson first thing Monday morning.

principal of year with students

At the end of October, 2018, Cindy Emerson was named District Principal of the Year by our school district. Cindy moved forward as our nominee to compete in the State Principal of the Year competition against 43 other district nominees from various school districts around the state. After completing an extensive application packet, and eagerly waiting over 4 months for an official announcement, Cindy was selected as 1 out of 5 state finalists.

Mrs. Emerson said, “I’m so excited for this incredible opportunity to share the magic taking place all over Indian River as a Finalist for Principal of the Year. It’s so incredibly humbling to represent the amazing administrators that are working so hard to help every single student in our district meet their true potential. As the Principal and lead learner of Vero Beach Elementary, I’m extremely proud of the progress we have made in our turn-around of the school, and I’m eager to share our tribe’s success that has come from unwavering social emotional support and love, a deep focus on grade level standards and data, and a fierce vision of making school relevant, meaningful, and fun. The greatest gift is that our students now love school and run through the doors each morning eager to learn.”

principal of year announcement

"Cindy has absolutely transformed Vero Beach Elementary School, stated Superintendent Dr. Rendell. Student achievement is her number one priority and she doesn't settle for anything less. No matter what the hurdles or obstacles are, she pushes to overcome those. VBE is on its way to becoming an ‘A’ school; of that, I have no doubt."

The Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership was established in 1988 to recognize exemplary Principals for their contributions to their schools and communities. The program honors Principals who have spearheaded initiatives to increase student performance and promote safe learning environments, often through establishing partnerships with parents and community members.

The Florida Department of Education will be issuing a press release formally announcing the finalists and winner of the 2019 Principal of the Year for the State of Florida later this month.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Cristen Maddux at 772-564-5527 or via email at