Boca educator named Principal of the Year

Don Estridge High Tech Middle School principal Rachel Capitano is the district’s new Principal of the Year.

Formerly principal at Del Prado and Sandpiper Shores Elementary schools in Boca, Capitano was among four regional nominees for this annual honor awarded online Jan. 28 because of Covid restrictions.

“Principals have stepped up like never before,” said superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy, who presented the awards with JP Morgan Chase executive Juan Tagle, a business partner.

“We will not stop until our kids get what they need,” an emotional Capitano said after her name was read. “I couldn’t do what I do without my team…and parents.

“I said what was in my heart,” she added in a post-program interview. “It really is my family there.”

“What would you say to the business community as a school known for technology innovation?” event host James Gavrilos, who heads the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, asked Capitano just before the announcement. “We can move our students forward so much more because of your support,” she said.

Capitano is seasoned educator in the School District of Palm Beach County. She helped open Don Estridge in 2004 as a language arts teacher. After working in the district, she become principal at the two elementary schools in Boca. Capitano called returning to Don Estridge as principal in 2017 “a homecoming.”

Her husband Edmund Capitano is also an educator and principal of West Boca High School.

Justin Arnone of Palm Beach Central High School was named the district’s first Assistant Principal of the Year.

Each of the eight nominees was introduced via video by a business partner. Alex Price of Office Depot introduced Capitano. Comcast was the presenting sponsor.

Here’s a link to the hourlong program on the school district website.

By Marci Shatzman



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