October 18, 2023

Mount Dora Sweeps Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year Awards

1.5 min read| Published On: October 18th, 2023|

By Cindy Peterson

Mount Dora Sweeps Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year Awards

1.5 min read| Published On: October 18th, 2023|

Lake County Schools Superintendent Diane Kornegay surprised Marlene Straughan of Mount Dora High School on Monday afternoon to tell her that she had been named the district’s Principal of the Year. Her next stop was Triangle Elementary, also in Mount Dora, where she announced Noris Aguayo as Assistant Principal of the Year.

Straughan began her career with the district in August 1997. She worked as a substitute teacher for a year, and then as a teacher for five years. She was promoted to assistant principal in 2013 and to principal in 2017. She was named principal at Mount Dora High in 2020.

“Marlene is a culture builder,” said Rob Feltner, executive director for Region 1, which includes both schools. He and other district leaders accompanied Kornegay as she made the announcements. “She impacts every facet of the school building and community. She leads by example and believes in TEAM. Not only do teachers want to follow her leadership, but students love the school experience that she provides through her passion, love and support to each member of the community that makes up Mount Dora High School.”

As the district’s Principal of the Year, Straughan can now enter the statewide competition for the Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership, which honors principals who have spearheaded initiatives to increase student performance, promote safe learning environments and establish partnerships with community parents and community members.

Aguayo joined the district in October 2004. She worked as a caregiver, substitute teacher, teacher assistant, clerical assistant, teacher and program specialist before being promoted to assistant principal in 2020. She was named assistant principal at Triangle Elementary in 2022.

“Noris is an instructional leader,” Feltner said. “Her loving and caring attitude exudes her being. She is a leader who is collaborative, resourceful and charismatic. People want to follow her and be like her. She is grounded in truly what matters most — what is best for students.”

As the district’s Assistant Principal of the Year, Aguayo can now compete for the statewide Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award, which honors assistant principals who have used teamwork and leadership skills to increase student performance, promote safe learning environments, and establish partnerships with parents and community members.

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About the Author: Cindy Peterson

Originally from the small town of Berryville, Arkansas, Cindy has become a multimedia specialist in journalism, photography, videography, and video editing. She has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Central Arkansas and produces Style Magazine's Sports Hub Podcast and the Healthy Living Podcast. She also produces for Beacon College’s Telly Award-winning PBS show, “A World of Difference.” When she isn’t working, Cindy loves traveling the National Parks with her husband , Ryan, and son, David, photographing wildlife.

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