Local principal wins prestigious award

Published: September 7, 2022 5:44 PM EDT

Heidi Keegan, the principal at Peace River Elementary School in Port Charlotte, is representing the state of Florida with a prestigious award.

Keegan was nominated for the nationally distinguished Principal Award for promoting school culture and raising student achievement scores.

“I froze for a minute And I said, Excuse me, what, and I made her repeat herself,” Keegan said. “And I just kind of felt numb.”

Keegan is among a select few who’ve earned the distinguished principal title.

“I think I took back some tears,” Keegan said.

Keegan’s coworkers said she deserves the honor after seeing how well she does her job. Her coworkers said they admire Keegan’s humility and fight most of all.

The assistant principal, Abigail Palmer-Thomas, and fifth-grade teacher Trish Thompson shared some thoughts about Palmer and the award.

“Heidi truly does what is best for our students. We are low social economic school title one,” Palmer-Thomas said. “And she truly is fighting at the district level and the state level to do what is best for our students.”

“She loves it here, you know that her heart is here,” Thompson said. “And as a teacher, I guess for me, that’s one of the most important part of it.”

Born, raised, and educated in Charlotte County schools, Keegan has dedicated the last 20 years to serving families.

“And the one thing that I can say is they’re a good people in every school and with all of the negative things that people are concerned about,” Keegan said. “I want everyone to know about the wonderful positive things that are happening.”