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Sanibel principal receives state award for leadership

By Staff | May 6, 2015
Sanibel School staff surprised Barbara Von Harten with a cake. PHOTO PROVIDED
A group shot at the ceremony in Orlando. Barbara Von Harten is at the far right of the first row. PHOTO PROVIDED
Barbara Von Harten receiving the leadership award. PHOTO PROVIDED

Sanibel School principal Barbara Von Harten has achieved the Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership for the 2014-15 school year. Von Harten, who has been the school’s principal since 2002 and served as the Sanibel elementary principal beginning in 1997, received the award at the Commissioner’s Summit for Principals in Orlando. One principal from each Florida district received the honor.

The event for Florida’s top administrators was hosted by Disney Youth Programs. Candidates for the awards were nominated by the superintendent from their respective school district. The Outstanding Leadership Award was established in 1988 to recognize Florida principals for their contributions to their schools and communities. Sanibel School is a nationally recognized school of excellence.

“I’m obviously very humbled,” Von Harten said. “But the goal at the Sanibel School is for each child to make learning gains. And that’s what our staff has been able to accomplish over the years.”

Von Harten received an undergraduate degree in elementary education from Millersville State University in Pennsylvania, an advanced degree from the University of Tennessee. She is a new principal mentor with Lee County schools, and has received numerous civic and professional citations and awards during her career in education.

Staff at the Sanibel School honored their boss with cake and a ceremony for the Outstanding Leadership Award. It also happened to coincide with her birthday.