Dwayne Courtney is known as a “turn-around” leader. That’s because he takes struggling schools, refocuses their efforts, and turns them into high-performing, reputation-building, community-respected schools.
That’s why he is the 2015 Margie Davidson Leading Light award winner from SUNSPRA, the Sunshine State School Public Relations Association.
Courtney accepted the award Thursday in Tampa at the 70th Annual Joint Conference of the Florida School Boards Association.
With a leadership style involving every school staff member in the turn-around process, Courtney led a low-performing school of 1,200 students, 85 percent eligible for free/reduced meals, and 69 percent minority into an “A”-graded school five years in a row. His second school was similar and has improved its grade to “B” with three consecutive years of improvement.
One example of his direct leadership style -- Courtney posts mission and vision statements in every single classroom on campus, recites them daily with students, and uses them to launch staff trainings and all team meetings.
The Margie Davidson Leading Light Award recognizes individuals and organizations for providing outstanding support to public education. It honors the late St. John’s County communications director who championed the award process started in 2002.
Blackboard, a leader in school communication platforms, returned as the exclusive sponsor of this year’s award.