Rosemarie Maiorini, principal of the Challenger K-8 school in Spring Hill, and Alex Rastatter, assistant principal of the Powell Middle School in Spring Hill, were presented awards as the Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year during the Hernando County School District regular school board meeting on Dec. 13. Both women will now be nominees from Hernando County in the Florida Department of Education (DOE) Principal and Assistant Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership.
In presenting the awards, Hernando School District Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning Gina Michalicka told the panel that both women created cultures of pride and support for students, faculty, and family in their schools.
“Ms. Maiorini has built a strong culture at Challenger; she is passionate and committed to her students, teachers, families, and staff,” Michalicka said. “(She) has also built a strong culture for learning because teachers know that (she) supports them and encourages them to think outside the box.”
In accepting the award, Maiorini thanked the school’s faculty, its students, and their families. “They (teachers and staff) are always looking to improve their craft,” she told the board. “CK-8 is a great community all working toward the same academic and extracurricular excellence – over the years, we have become family.”
Meanwhile, Michalicka called Rastatter “compassionate and energetic and a role model for students and staff” at Powell Middle School.
“Alex takes time to get to know students and families as well,” Michalicka said. “(She) takes great pride in building positive relationships among students, staff and families (and) she has an open door policy as well as taking time to get to know staff members.”
As she accepted the award, Rastatter said those relationships are vital to providing quality education.“In a profession that has become more and more challenging over the last few years, it is important that we lean on each other for support and guidance,” she told the board. “I am humbled to stand here when I know that there are so many amazing leaders in Hernando County who deserve to be recognized.”
The FDOE Principal and Assistant Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership was established to recognize those who have spearheaded initiatives to increase student performance, promote safe learning environments and establish partnerships with parents and community members.
Maiorini and Rastatter were named Hernando County’s Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year after they were nominated for their awards by teachers, staff, and the families of students at their schools.