MARION COUNTY’S DEIORIO LEADS AS THIS YEAR’S LEADING LIGHT WINNER
News release - 12-4-14

Lauren Deiorio knows how to support public education thanks to years of dedicated involvement at her kids’ schools and a record-breaking fundraiser this year. That’s why she’s the 2014 Margie Davidson Leading Light award winner from SUNSPRA, the Sunshine State School Public Relations Association.

A surprised Deiorio accepted the award earlier today in Tampa at the 69th Annual Joint Conference of the Florida School Boards Association.

As a parent, Deiorio championed efforts at Shady Hill Elementary in Ocala to promote “Coupons for Education,” a major fundraising program in Marion County Public Schools. Now the Fund Development Director of the Public Education Foundation of Marion County, Deiorio headed efforts leading to a record $291,000 in total sales this year – with more money than ever going back to schools and classrooms.

Deiorio is a numbers person who loves spreadsheets, Excel® formulas, and everything financial. Using her accounting background, she coordinates the entire “Coupons for Education” campaign, creates measureable goals for schools, secures vendors and sponsors, and pulls all the numbers together to show how successful the annual campaign is.

When she took over the program in 2013, schools sold 60 percent more books than the previous year. This year, 49 schools sold 14,546 books, raising over $291,000 – a six percent increase over last year and a whopping 89 percent increase over just two years ago.

Colleagues describe Deiorio as infectious with enthusiasm, laughter, and joy, and matchless in passion and energy, determined to the last straw with a never-waning commitment to public education.

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.

An in-state committee including Joe Landon, a 46-year communications industry veteran now retired from Collier County Public Schools, and Michelle Irwin, district director of communications for Brevard County Public Schools, chose this year’s winner.

Blackboard, a leader in school communication platforms, is the exclusive sponsor of this year’s award.

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