Principal of year gets top job at Parkland high school

principal

BY SCOTT TRAVIS
SUN SENTINEL/TNS

FORT LAUDERDALE – Michelle Kefford, the Flanagan High School principal who was recently named Florida’s 2019 principal of the year, will be the new principal at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, replacing Ty Thompson.

Kefford, who is 44 and lives in Parkland, was formerly a science teacher at Stoneman Douglas. She will take on her new role July 1.

Teachers were told at a 7:15 a.m. staff meeting by Superintendent Robert Runcie and district administrators Valerie Wanza and Michael Ramirez.

“Michelle Kefford has been determined to be the top-ranking principal in the entire state of Florida, so it doesn’t get any better than that,” said Lisa Maxwell, executive director of the Broward Principals and Assistants Association.

“She could go anywhere in the country and be a phenomenal principal. In my opinion, the community is fortunate to have her. I think she will do an amazing job.”

Career history

Kefford has worked for the district since 1999, teaching at Stoneman Douglas until 2005, when she became an assistant principal at Western High in Davie. She spent a year as an assistant principal at Boyd Anderson High in Lauderdale Lakes from 2010-11 before being named principal at Flanagan in 2011.

The school received its first A grade from the state at the end of her first year and has kept that grade every year since except 2016 when it was B-rated.

Stoneman Douglas has gone through administrative turmoil and uncertainty this school year as a result of the massacre that killed 17 people on Feb. 14, 2018.

Thompson plans to stay in the district working in a yet-to-be-determined administrative job, Maxwell said.

Three assistant principals currently assigned to the school will remain, teachers were told. They are Ivette Figueroa, Daniel Lechtman and Daniel Most.

Kefford also will appoint three of her own assistant principals.

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