2024 Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year

2024 Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year
Posted on 11/20/2023
Alex Dworzanski and Kristin Stevens

The School District of Lee County is excited to announce that Alex Dworzanski, Principal at Harns Marsh Middle School, is the 2024 Principal of the Year. District staff and the Harns Marsh leadership team recently surprised Dworzanski with the award. He will go on to represent the School District of Lee County in the Florida Department of Education’s Principal of the Year competition.

“I don’t feel like I’ve worked a day in my life because I love my job,” Dworzanski said when presented his award. “I feel this school has really helped change lives and I feel so blessed to be the principal of Harns Marsh Middle School.”

Dworzanski uses the motto "One Team, One Family," to lead his school. He prioritizes positive relationships and student achievement as the school's top goal. Three former School District Teacher of the Year award winners are part of the Harns Marsh Middle School staff and students are leaders in academic performance gains.  Dworzanski also recently partnered with the Harry Chapin Food Bank to open The Hungry Bull for his students and staff in need to get weekend food supplies on Friday afternoon.

“Mr. D is always looking for ways to make his school family the best it can be by listening and observing the needs of our school, children, and staff,” said Harns Marsh Middle Information Specialist Milangela Martinez Alfonseca. “He has partnered with the community to satisfy the most basic needs because he notices our needs and finds a way to take care of us.”

Dworzanski began his career in Lee County as an Intensive Reading Coach in 2004. He was selected as Golden Apple Teacher in 2006 and became an Assistant Principal at Lehigh Elementary. He later served as Assistant Principal at Challenger Middle, East Lee County High School, South Fort Myers High School and Harns Marsh Middle School before being appointed Principal at Harns Marsh in 2019.

East Lee County High School Assistant Principal Kristin Stevens is the 2024 Assistant Principal of the Year.  Stevens began her career in Lee County as a Social Studies Teacher in 2009. She spent eight years teaching before transitioning to Professional Development. Stevens returned back to teaching at East Lee County High a couple years later and was promoted to Assistant Principal in 2020. She will go on to represent the School District of Lee County in the Florida Department of Education’s Assistant Principal of the Year competition.

“It’s nice to know when you put in 14 hours a day, seven days a week, for years on end, it’s nice to know it is seen and recognized,” Stevens said.  “We fundamentally believe that 100% of our students are capable of graduation so we will work countless hours to make sure our kids have that opportunity.”

Motivated by the goal of ensuring a 100% graduation rate at her school, Stevens collaborates with parents, students, and staff to foster a culture of collective responsibility for student success. The graduation rate at East Lee County High School has increased from 72% to 95% in the last few years. Stevens also currently serves as a mentor for aspiring leaders in her school building.

“Mrs. Stevens works tirelessly to support our students by helping them achieve their best, stay in school, and graduate,” said East Lee County High Techer Thomas Faatz.” She works with our students on a personal level, and has built relationships with all students. The kids appreciate that she cares and they have nothing but good things to say when her name is mentioned.  She is positive and professional with her colleagues as well and always supports the efforts of those around her with a smile.”

School administrators, employees, students, and members of the community nominated deserving principals and assistant principals. Nominated administrators then submitted a writing task which was reviewed by a committee of stakeholders to select the award recipient.

Dworzanski and Stevens will be recognized by the School Board as Principal of the Year and Assistant Principal of the Year in January.

The District also wishes to congratulate Principal of the Year finalists Cherise Trent at Tice Elementary and Dr. Vicki Gohagen-Mosley from Buckingham Exceptional Student Center. Congratulations as well to Assistant Principal of the Year finalists Theresa Bulanda from Rayma C. Page Elementary and Kimberly Schmidt at The Alva School.