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Immokalee principal recognized with Florida leadership award

Zulaika and girl


Principal Zulaika Quintero interacts with a student at RCMA’s Immokalee Community School. She is one of three principals statewide to receive Florida’s Principal Leadership Award. COURTESY PHOTO

Zulaika Quintero, principal of the RCMA’s Immokalee Community School, has been named the recipient of Florida’s Principal Leadership Award. Ms. Quintero is one of three principals statewide to receive the award.

Established by the Florida Tax Watch in 2014, this award honors Florida’s most effective principals in high-risk K-12 public schools and promotes their transformational practices to improve student achievement. The Florida Tax Watch program analyzes student performance data over several consecutive years and the results are weighted to find those principals making a difference in the lives of their students. This award recognizes Ms. Quintero for her dedication and innovation in transforming students’ lives.

“Ms. Quintero operates with vision, transparency, and a deep understanding that every student can succeed,” shared Dr. Kamela Patton, superintendent of Collier County Public Schools. “I congratulate her on this well-deserved honor.”

Ms. Quintero has served at Immokalee Community School since 2011. As Collier County’s only dual language public school, ICS is tuition-free and open to all children living in migrant and low income communities. One of the school’s cornerstones is to utilize dual language immersion and foreign language instruction in order to develop basic skill acquisition and literacy in both English and Spanish languages during kindergarten – 6th grade.

As the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents who are still a part of the Immokalee farm working community, Ms. Quintero knows first-hand the value of education and the power it has to change children’s lives. “This award confirms my mission,” she says, “to prepare students for success in the 21st century.”

Additionally, plans are to add grade levels including middle school – 7th grade in the fall of 2021, and 8th grade in 2022 to offer students even greater opportunities for continued success.

Established in 1965, RCMA is the largest nonprofit provider of quality early childhood education and family-support services in the state of Florida. RCMA operates 66 child development centers, three charter schools and partners with 19 family child care homes, and several afterschool care programs in 21 Florida counties.

Immokalee principal recognized with Florida leadership award | Naples Florida Weekly