May 16, 2020 – Kate Fulginiti says she has no choice but to fight hard for students.
The 10-year educator who currently serves as interim principal at Pinedale Elementary said she is driven to address historical inequities that threaten to derail children from underserved communities.
“As you get to know kids and their stories, you have no choice but to love and to challenge them, to believe in their potential and position them to be as successful as possible,” said Fulginiti. “You have no choice but to disrupt deficit-based mindsets.”
It is this passion that propelled her as she worked with a team of educators over five years to bring Matthew Gilbert Middle School’s grade an F to a C during her tenure.
This passion also propelled Fulginiti to being selected as Florida’s 2020 Assistant Principal of the Year. The Florida Department of Education made the announcement on Saturday, May 16 following an announcement earlier this week that Fulginiti was one of three finalists.
Surprised and humbled by the honor, Fulginiti said she hopes to use this as a platform to advocate for equitable resources and support for all children.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to highlight the brilliance of our students, the hard work of our educators, and the involvement of our community,” said Fulginiti.
Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools, Dr. Diana Greene said she is inspired by Fulginiti and her single-minded vision to see all children achieve their highest potential.
“Ms. Fulginiti is truly about the work of uplifting students and will make sure everyone knows that any praise she receives really belongs to them,” said Dr. Greene. “What a great example she is of all the humble, hard-working and dedicated educators we have who are moving the needle forward for children.”
Inspired to teach by a “fiery and empathetic” college professor, Fulginiti began her education career with Duval County Public Schools at what is now the Young Men and Women Leadership Academy. Now, as she has served in various roles including teacher and assistant principal, Fulginiti said she looks forward to continuing fighting for students, working with her peers to increase opportunity for all children and raising the profile of educators.
“Working in education has confirmed my belief that high-quality, committed teachers are some of the most important and impressive professionals in our society,” said Fulginiti. “As a school leader, I am committed to doing my best every day to bring out the best in people—for the kids, for equity, and for opportunity.”
Team Duval News talked with Fulginiti earlier this year when she was selected as the district’s Assistant Principal of the Year. Watch her in action as she engages with students in the classroom and discusses what drives her passion for education: https://www.teamduval.org/2020/01/16/kate-fulginiti-duval-county-assistant-principal-of-the-year/