Jan. 16, 2020 – Matthew Gilbert Middle School’s Kate Fulginiti has been the assistant principal for five years, and through her hard work and dedication, she now holds the title of Duval County’s 2020 Assistant Principal of the Year.
“Absolutely excited, but totally surprised,” said Fulginiti. “There are a ton of fully–qualified people that are just as deserving, but it’s an honor to represent Gilbert and Duval County.”
Fulginiti has been passionate about education since she first started her career in education 10 years ago at what was then Eugene Butler Leadership Academy (now known as Young Men’s and Women’s Leadership academy at Butler).
“I wanted to make a difference, and I wanted to work in a place with young people and help young people maximize their potential,” said Fulginiti.
She refers to Matthew Gilbert as having the most brilliant kids in Duval County; they’re joyful, enthusiastic and ready to learn every day when they get on campus.
“I think statistics are against a lot of our kids and we know zip code is the unjust predicter of academic achievement,” said Fulginiti. “Our entire team believes that when you give students high expectations, they can and will learn. We’ve seen it.”
During Fulginiti’s tenure, she has worked side by side with the principal and staff to raise the school grade from an F to a C.
“It’s never about me, it’s not about me now,” said Fulginiti. “It’s about how I am blessed to have a team that has an aligned vision…I got to share a story that’s not my story. It’s our story.”
She said this recognition shows how far the school has come and how far they will continue to go. Fulginiti said she is touched to have this platform, and is excited to use it to advocate for children.
“I’m humbled that the recognition happens to fall on my name, but I want to be clear that this is a Gilbert win,” said Fulginiti.
The Team Duval News video team recently spent time with the award-winning educator. Watch this video to learn more about Fulginiti’s journey to becoming Assistant Principal of the Year.