Jacob Stein, principal of Mount Dora Middle School, has been named Lake County’s Principal of the Year for 2019-20, and Charles Feld, assistant principal at East Ridge High School, is the district’s new Assistant Principal of the Year.
The announcements were made today with a surprise visit from Superintendent Diane Kornegay, M.Ed., to each of the schools.
Stein now qualifies to be considered for the statewide Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership, and Feld qualifies to be considered for the statewide Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award. These programs honor leaders who have spearheaded initiatives to increase student performance and promote safe learning environments, often through partnerships with parents and community members.
Stein was hired in 1998 as an Exceptional Student Education (ESE) teacher at Eustis Middle School. He has since taught science at Mount Dora High, hospital homebound students and coached swimming. He was appointed Assistant Principal at Windy Hill Middle School in 2006, Assistant Principal at East Ridge High School in 2010 and Principal at Mount Dora Middle School in 2014.
“Under his leadership, [Mount Dora Middle School] has increased a letter grade and made positive strides in almost every academic area,’’ Abigail Crosby, principal at Eustis Middle, wrote in a nomination letter. Crosby, who was AP of the Year for 2018-19, describes Stein as her mentor. “He has also taken on the role of middle school representative, listening to the concerns and questions of the other nine principals. His organization and years of experience have guided many of us in various situations.”
Feld joined the district in 1998 as an ESE teacher at Umatilla High, a position he held for 13 years before being named an ESE specialist at the school. He was an adjunct teacher for Lake Virtual School from 2013 to 2016 and was named Assistant Principal at East Ridge High School in 2013.
Julie Robinson-Lueallen, principal at East Ridge High School, wrote a glowing recommendation letter for Feld. “Throughout his tenure at East Ridge High, he has maintained a high standard of excellence for both the staff and the students,” she wrote. “He has been instrumental in our success as he has taken on an active role of supporting our vision that we will achieve 100 percent graduation rate. … [His] talents, academic focus and work ethic are evidence of charter, which embodies all the qualities of a leader.”