Return to Headlines

District Selects 2020-2021 Principal, Assistant Principal of the Year

The Martin County School District named its 2020-2021 Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year on November 13, 2020, honoring two veteran educators with the awards.


Allysa Eberst of Port Salerno Elementary School was named Principal of the Year and Willie Gore of Hobe Sound Elementary School was recognized as Assistant Principal of the Year.  Superintendent Laurie J. Gaylord and members of her Executive Cabinet traveled to both schools to deliver the surprise to each administrator.


"There aren't enough superlatives to describe leaders like Mrs. Eberst and Mr. Gore," Superintendent Gaylord shared. "The Martin County School District is home to many outstanding administrators, which makes the selection process extremely difficult each year. Mrs. Eberst and Mr. Gore are known for going the extra mile to ensure their schools are supportive environments focused on educating all students for success, making them the ideal recipients for this year's awards."


In addition to being a stellar leader, Mrs. Eberst is a proud alum of the Martin County School District, having graduated from Martin County High School in 1993.  She began her career in Martin County as a fifth-grade teacher at J.D. Parker Elementary School and cheerleading coach at Martin County High School in 1998.  She has served the students, staff, and surrounding Port Salerno Elementary School community for the past nine years - five as an assistant principal and the last four as principal. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, baking, participating in services and activities as a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church and participating in book clubs with colleagues and friends. Mrs. Eberst is the proud wife of Larry, a local attorney, and doting mother of James, the couple's adorable two-year-old son. 


"Mrs. Eberst has worked hard to establish a positive and vibrant school culture where all employees, students, parents and community feel like family," said Lauren Gifford, one of two assistant principals at Port Salerno Elementary School. "She genuinely cares about each individual and works tirelessly to meet the needs of all students and staff in order to maximize their potential. I am honored to have learned under her leadership and am grateful to call her a colleague and friend."


"Mrs. Eberst has worked tirelessly over the past four years to create a tight-knit staff and culture at Port Salerno Elementary," Assistant Principal David Shaffer shared. "She approaches each challenge as an opportunity for our staff and students to grow and improve. She always keeps students at the center of every decision and it has been my absolute pleasure to work for and learn from her each day." 


Mr. Gore began his career as an elementary teacher in Pinellas County in 1994. He began serving the students and staff of Martin County as the assistant principal of Bessey Creek Elementary School in 2006, a position he held until 2009 when he transitioned into his current role at Hobe Sound Elementary.  Mr. Gore is extremely active in our local community - in his spare time, he serves as a member of the Martin County Administrative and Supervisory Association (MCASA) and is very active in the Eta Kappa Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In 2016, he was named a recipient of the Arnold Stanberry Community Achiever Award, which is given to outstanding Martin County citizens in recognition of their accomplishments as community leaders. In 2019, he was named the recipient of the Augustus M. Witherspoon Award of Leadership for the Florida Federation of Alpha Chapters.  This award is presented to members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. who exhibit exemplary leadership in community or civic organizations.  Mr. Gore serves as an Associate Minister/Educational Director of the Lake Street Church of Christ, a Children's Emergency Resources Board Member and as a Men of Tomorrow mentor through the Eta Kappa Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He has been married to his college sweetheart, Connie, a teacher at Dr. David L. Anderson Middle School, for 35 years. They are the proud parents of two adult sons - Willie III and Devin.  


"Mr. Gore serves as a mentor and role model to the students of Hobe Sound Elementary School," Principal Dianne Memmer-Novak shared. "He spends a great deal of time with our students who have no father figures in their lives building relationship and trust, while also teaching them what it means to be men. He teaches our students about self-respect, honor, integrity and citizenship.  The children respect him and know they have a positive role model to turn to when they need one. I feel so fortunate to serve our school community alongside Mr. Gore - he is more than deserving of this recognition."


The District will submit both administrators' names to the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) for consideration in the statewide Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership and Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award recognition programs. Winners of these awards will be announced in spring 2021.


To view the surprise announcement at Hobe Sound Elementary School, please click here


To view the surprise announcement at Port Salerno Elementary School, please click here