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Superintendent Dr. Kamela Patton Named Florida's 2022 Superintendent of the Year

Superintendent of the Year


Collier County Public Schools (CCPS) Superintendent, Dr. Kamela Patton, has been named Florida’s 2022 Superintendent of the Year by the Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS)! Dr. Patton was formally recognized today in Tampa during the joint meeting of FADSS and the Florida School Boards Association. She is the 35th superintendent and the 9th woman to receive this honor since the inception of the awards program in 1988.


“I am deeply humbled and grateful to have been selected as Florida’s 2022 Superintendent of the Year,” says Patton. “It is a privilege to be chosen among a class of outstanding and dedicated superintendents in this state who are fiercely committed to ensuring access to academic excellence and opportunities for all students. This recognition is truly an honor personally, but more so, it reflects the outstanding achievements and tireless work of everyone who makes up Collier County Public Schools.”


Dr. Patton was appointed Superintendent of CCPS in June 2011 and is now in her 11th year leading the 115th largest school district in the United States. Prior to taking the helm as Superintendent, Dr. Patton began her 34-year educational career at Miami-Dade County Schools, ultimately rising to the role of Assistant Superintendent of School Operations.


“Those who choose to pursue the path as a public school superintendent do so not for the glory, but rather the opportunity to make a positive difference in children’s lives. Dr. Patton exemplifies this passion and commitment each and every day and has a true passion and dedication to consistently make child-centered decisions that always put the best interests of students first,” states FADSS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bill Montford.


“Dr. Patton is not only an exceptional superintendent with a proven track record of success; she is a true servant leader committed to educational excellence and is truly deserving of this award,” adds FADSS President and Citrus County Schools Superintendent Sandra “Sam” Himmel.


During her tenure as superintendent here in Collier, Dr. Patton has been committed to a trajectory of continuous improvement anchored in culture, academics, and leadership. Since 2011, our district has successfully transformed through the implementation of innovative practices designed to improve student outcomes and impact systemic change. CCPS has achieved numerous accomplishments under Dr. Patton’s leadership including:

  • Improved the district ranking to tie for 5th in the State from 33rd just nine years ago
  • Increased the graduation rate by 19.7 percentage points to 92.2% from 72.5%
  • Earned a district grade of “A” since 2017
  • Currently one of seven school districts to earn the “A” distinction for 2021
  • CCPS students outperformed the state average on 21 out of 21 tested areas the past school year 

These accomplishments are even more impressive considering our district covers 2,300 square miles with a diverse student population—65% of students are on free and reduced lunch, 55% of students come from homes where English is not the first language, and 96 different languages and dialects are spoken. CCPS also has the largest number of migrant families in the state of Florida with over 3,300 migrant students.


In addition to her role as Superintendent, Dr. Patton is actively involved in many community and state organizations, which have earned her numerous awards and recognitions as follows:

  • 2021 Naples Daily News Outstanding Citizen of the Year
  • 50 Florida Influencers
  • Naples Top 100 Distinction
  • 2018 Lavan Dukes District Data Leader of the Year Award
  • 2018 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Distinguished Leader Award
  • 2018 Florida Music Education Association (FMEA) Superintendent of the Year Award
  • 2017 Star Superintendent Award from the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations 

“Dr. Patton is widely respected throughout Florida, not only by the superintendents of Florida, but by all who know her and have had the opportunity to work with her. Undoubtedly this high level of respect is a clear reflection of her exemplary work ethic, and a true passion and dedication to always make decisions that are in the best interests of students,” adds Montford.


The process for selecting Florida’s Superintendent of the Year was established by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), a national organization of school superintendents and other educational leaders. Dr. Patton will represent all Florida superintendents at the AASA 2022 National Education Conference February 17-19, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee, where she will be recognized and honored for her public education service in Florida. The National Superintendent of the Year® Program pays tribute to the talent and vision of the men and women who lead our nation’s public schools.