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District leader earns outstanding Excellence in Educational Leadership Award

August 27, 2015 - Employee Excellence

Tricia McManus, Director of Leadership Development, was recently recognized by the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) with the 2015 Excellence in Educational Leadership Award.  The award, for practicing school administrators who are making significant contributions to the improvement of administrator preparation, was the result of a nomination by the University of South Florida, who cited Mrs. McManus’ exemplary record of supporting school administrator preparation efforts.

Ms. McManus was central to development of the principal coach position in 2011, and the training program that supports these mentors, who guide aspiring leaders through the preparation pipeline they complete to qualify for appointment as a principal. That pipeline was developed under Ms. McManus’ leadership through a $12.5 million grant from The Wallace Foundation.  Ms. McManus also supports seated principals through development and delivery of 40-plus trainings to further develop leadership skills.  According to the UCEA, “Concern for seated principals in high-needs, high-poverty schools sparked her collaboration with University of South Florida faculty in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies to redesign the Educational Specialist degree targeted for advanced professional development for principals in ‘turnaround’ schools.”

The award committee added that “she brought to the collaboration both passion and critical insights from experience.”  That experience includes serving as principal at Twin Lakes Elementary School, where the school rose from a C school grade to an A in just three years, and at Just Elementary School, where she was transferred to help raise the school’s failing school grade.  

Ms. McManus received both her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida.  She is a proud USF alumnus, and in turn, USF is justifiably proud of her accomplishments.  Congratulations on your recognition, Tricia!

For more information about Ms. McManus’ award, please visit the UCEA website at  For more information about preparing new leaders in Hillsborough County Public Schools, visit and type “go pnp” in the search box.

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