OCPS announces 2019-20 Stellar Award winners
Posted on 01/10/2020
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At tonight’s Stellar Awards held at the Rosen Shingle Creek, Orange County Public Schools announced the winners for the following categories: Teacher of the Year, Support Person of the Year, Principal of the Year, and Assistant Principal of the Year. The honorees are:

Rob Paschall headshot2019-20 Teacher of the Year

Rob Paschall | West Creek Elementary

Rob Paschall is a fifth-grade teacher at West Creek Elementary and is responsible for advancing learning in scholars and impacting student achievement throughout the school. Last year, 83 percent of his students scored a level of proficiency on the FSA math test, and 81 percent demonstrated learning gains. Rob strongly believes in teaching with a sense of purpose rather than a sense of urgency. Through his outstanding teaching practices, he has guided students on their pursuit to success and has helped develop students into future leaders.


Maria Sejio headshot2019-20 Support Person of the Year

Maria Seijo | Innovation Office

When Maria Seijo began her career with Orange County Public Schools 18 years ago, she knew she wanted to make a difference in childhood education. In her current role as senior executive assistant of the district’s Innovation Office, she is known as a dedicated professional who goes out of her way to assist and support the schools she serves. As the sole support staff member in the office, Seijo is masterful at multitasking and providing outstanding service to district and school-based staff. Among her colleagues, she is considered the “engine” that ensures school operations are running smoothly.


James Leslie headshot2019-20 Principal of the Year

James Leslie | Lake Weston Elementary

James Leslie is a humble, strategic and compassionate leader, who for more than 30 years, has served the students and families of Orange County Public Schools. Under his leadership, James increases academic performance and creates a strong sense of community at the schools he serves. When asked what inspires him as a principal, he shared “the ability to affect change that will impact lives in ways that I may not see, and to provide students with the power to overcome the circumstances they may be facing.”


Fred Ray headshot2019-20 Assistant Principal of the Year

Fred Ray | Carver Middle

The professional journey for Fred Ray begins with a pursuit to assist all students in achieving success while ensuring the support and involvement of families and community. Since his 2015 appointment as Assistant Principal at Carver Middle, he has placed a high value on building relationships and establishing trust among stakeholders. His ability to develop and execute plans quickly has earned him the title of “Right Now Ray.” Because of his instrumental role in improving school and student culture and increasing community trust in staff and administration, Carver Middle students have been able to perform at high levels of achievement.


All the winners will go on to compete at the state level.

  • The Teacher of the Year winner will be the district’s nominee for the Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year.
  • The Support Person of the Year will be the district’s nominee for the Florida School-Related Employee of the Year.
  • The Principal of the Year will be the district’s nominee for the Florida Department of Education Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership.
  • The Assistant Principal of the Year will be the district’s nominee for the Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award.

Co-presenting sponsors for the Stellar Awards are Addition Financial and Walt Disney World Resort. Diamond sponsors include Carl Black Orlando and Cigna.


(For more information, please contact Media Relations at 407.317.3458 or [email protected])