DeFord, Novak named Flagler Schools' Principal, Assistant Principal of the Year
Belle Terre Elementary Principal Jessica DeFord has been with Flagler Schools since 2013; Sara Novak has been a PE teacher/coach, dean and assistant principal at Matanzas High.
ByJason Wheeler, Flagler Schools coordinator of communications
| 5:00 p.m. November 30, 2023
Palm Coast Observer
Belle Terre Elementary School Principal Jessica DeFord has been named Flagler Schools' Principal of the Year, and Matanzas High School's Sara Novak is the Assistant Principal of the Year.
DeFord has been with Flagler Schools since 2013. She was appointed a vice principal at BTES in 2016. She became principal in 2020 following a six-month term as interim principal.
DeFord received her bachelor of arts in elementary education and teaching from Saint Leo University in 2001. She earned a master of education in educational leadership and administration from the University of North Florida in 2003.
Before coming to Flagler County, DeFord taught in Brevard and Putnam counties.
Sara Novak has worked with Flagler Schools for over 16 years.
She came to Matanzas High School in 2005, serving as the school’s very first head softball coach. Novak has steadily risen through the ranks from physical education teacher to dean and assistant principal.
Novak earned a bachelor of science in physical education and a master of science in health education with a concentration in adaptive physical education from the State University of New York at Cortland. She also earned a specialist degree in educational leadership at Arkansas State University.
Before coming to Flagler County, Novak taught in the Homer Central School District in New York.
“I have known Jessica and Sara for years and have seen them grow professionally,” Superintendent LaShakia Moore said. “They are outstanding representatives of the administrators found at our schools. They know the importance of ensuring a quality education for all the students on their campuses.”