District announces Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year for 2024

HCSD logo


Brooksville - Excitement filled the air as Superintendent John Stratton, School Board Member Linda Prescott and district leaders made two surprise school visits Monday morning for the announcement of the school district's 2024 Principal of the Year and Assistant Principal of the Year. First stop was at Suncoast Elementary School to announce Dacey Hughes as HCSD’s Assistant Principal of the Year! Then it was off to Moton Elementary, where the group congratulated Patty Martin as the district’s Principal of the Year for 2024!

Before becoming assistant principal at Suncoast, Hughes joined the district in 2007 as a first grade teacher at Westside Elementary and then at Explorer K8 where she taught first and fifth grade. She was hired as the assistant principal at Suncoast Elementary in 2016. “I never expected to be awarded such an honor,” Hughes said. “Those who know me, know that I’m less comfortable in the spotlight. My focus is on doing my best for our students, staff and families. I want our students and families to know that I am here to support them in anyway possible, no matter how big or small. I love that our staff is a family. We truly care about each other and want the best for each other.”

“Dacey is a strong school leader who builds truly authentic relationships through her interactions with students, staff and families every day,” said SES Principal Scott Piesik. “Her dedication defines who she is as an educational leader. Dacey is an invaluable member of our team and is an amazing wife and mother to her family as well!”

Patty Martin is proudly and entirely “home grown”. A native Brooksvillian, Martin attended Eastside Elementary, Parrott Middle and Hernando High. She even began her career in education more than 23 years ago as a student intern at Moton Elementary. Her first position as a school administrator was as an assistant principal at Parrott Middle and then at Challenger K8. She is in her sixth year as Principal at Moton. After learning she is the 2024 Principal of the Year, Martin admitted she was both shocked and humbled. “I know my colleagues, and they are all truly incredible,” she said. “To be chosen among such educational leaders is truly an honor. I grew up in Hernando County, so to be able to represent this district that I love is something I will always cherish and remember.”

“Patty is dedicated to her entire school community. She brings years of teaching and a background as a former reading coach to meet the challenges of instructional leadership,” said Gina Michalicka, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. "Her dedication and commitment to creating strong academic outcomes is clear when you see the tremendous success at Moton. Patty puts processes in place, monitors the data and creates a school culture that keeps the student at the center of their work.”

“These school administrators exemplify selflessness, confidence and an unquestionable love for students. Patty and Dacey are two of the best and I am so proud and honored to celebrate them as our leaders of the year,” said Superintendent John Stratton.