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UNF alumna is ‘Florida Principal of the Year’

Sarajean Mcdaniel headshotThe Florida Department of Education named Sarajean McDaniel, principal at William D. Moseley Elementary School in Putnam County, the 2020 Principal of the Year for the State of Florida.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said, “Her hard word and commitment have made a difference in the lives of the students and staff at Moseley Elementary School and the community.”

McDaniel has received statewide recognition for her part in improving Moseley Elementary School. Under her leadership, the school was removed from the state’s turn-around list in 2019, where it had been since 2009 due to annually receiving a Florida school grade below a C.

“I am a proud UNF alumna, said McDaniel. “I graduated with a bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1996 and received my master's degree in educational leadership in 2003. I have always respected and valued the high-quality education that I received from the University of North Florida as well as the experience I had as a student.”

McDaniel has been an educator with the Putnam County School District since 1996 and has been the principal at Moseley Elementary School since 2017. Prior to Moseley Elementary, she served as principal at James A. Long Elementary School in Palatka for eight years. She was named the 2020 Putnam County Principal of the year in October 2019. 

“Sarajean is not just a successful principal of a turn-around school, she is a leader of leaders who understands the amazing potential in each and every person,” said Laura France, Putnam County School District assistant superintendent. “Through her foresight, Moseley hasn’t just been able to move mountains, but has moved an entire community. Sarajean has become a school leader who will continue to make an impact in our district.” 

The Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership was established in 1988, to recognize exemplary principals for their contributions to their schools and communities. The program honors principals that have spearheaded initiatives to increase student performance, promote safe learning environments and establish partnerships with parents and community members.