The Dade Association of School Administrators’ Principal of the Year is an educator who was praised for setting high standards for teachers and students.
Rachel B. Autler, 55, led Hialeah Gardens Elementary School.
During her 15 years there she was assistant principal for a decade and principal for the past five years.
“I was shocked, and super honored to receive this award,” said Autler, 55, of Pembroke Pines. “I got Principal of the Year because of the students, parents and staff at Hialeah Gardens Elementary.”
The school has earned “A” grades from the Florida Department of Education in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Assessment tests were not given during the pandemic and state school grades were not issued in 2020.
The school, at 9702 NW 130th St. in Hialeah Gardens, has 933 students enrolled in Pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.
In the School Board of Miami-Dade County’s resolution on May 11, it called Autler a “veteran educator” with almost 30 years of service in the district.
Autler began teaching at North County K-8 Center in Miami Gardens where she taught special education.
During her years at Hialeah Gardens Elementary, Autler set high educational standards and expectations for the teachers and the school community, the school board said.
Her vision “has been the leading force behind the school’s success,” which was “reflected in students’ academic gains and test scores,” according to the board.
Autler is married to Jim Autler, 54. They have a daughter, Addison, 12, and a dog named Kahlua and a cat called Meow.
Autler works in the same district where Teresa E. Murphy won Teacher of the Year earlier this year.
“It’s a fantastic and very well-deserved honor that Rachel Autler won Principal of the Year,” said Perla Tabares Hantman, chair of the school board.
“Her achievements are a credit to our beloved District 4 and to our other wonderful teachers, students and staff. I thank Rachel for her tremendous efforts and vital service,” Tabares Hantman said.
Autler has been promoted to work at the North Region Office as a Region Director.
In her new role, Autler will oversee several schools and support the principals.
“I am excited for this new chapter where I hope to help many schools at once,” Autler said.
Autler earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida and a Master of Science
in Special Education from Florida International University.
Her award includes a $2,000 check and a free, three-year lease of a Toyota Highlander Hybrid from Toyota of North Miami, which she received on June 10th.