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Largo Middle principal honored

The Florida PTA spotlights him, as well as East Lake's principal and a Miami principal.

By RITA FARLOW, Times Staff Writer
Published November 11, 2007

[Cherie Diez | Times files (2002)]
Largo Middle School principal Fred Ulrich was named principal of the year.

LARGO - In two and a half years at Largo Middle School, principal Fred Ulrich has attended all of the meetings and functions hosted by his parent-teacher association.

With his help, the school's PTA grew to more than 300 members.

For those efforts, Ulrich was honored by the Florida PTA as the 2007 Outstanding Principal of the Year in the middle school category.

Another Pinellas County administrator, principal Clayton Snare of East Lake High School, won in the high school category. In the elementary category, Kristine Dittmar from Kendale Elementary in Miami, was selected.

This is the first time the state PTA has presented the awards, which recognize principals who are active with their PTAs, promote the mission of the organization and encourage PTA members to receive training and attend events.

The winners were announced at the organization's annual convention in Daytona Beach on Nov. 3.

Debbie Stotts, vice president of leadership for the Pinellas County Council of PTAs, said her organization was "proud and honored" to have two Pinellas principals chosen for the first-of-its-kind award by the state PTA. The organization received more than 60 nominations for the three categories.

As the former president of the Largo Middle PTA, Stotts was part of the group that nominated Ulrich for the award.

"Point blank, Mr. Ulrich is just the bomb-diggity," Stotts said.

The group nominated Ulrich for his continued support and involvement with the school's parent-teacher organization.

"He supports every one of our programs without hesitation. ... He wants us to be as successful as we do," Stotts and others wrote in the nomination.

Ulrich was at the convention to support his PTA when his name was called.

"It was such a surprise," he said.

A 36-year veteran of Pinellas County schools, Ulrich became principal at Largo in 2005.

Ulrich said he has grown as a principal through his involvement with parent-teacher associations over the years.

"I just try to support them in their efforts," he said, "because their efforts are noble."

Rita Farlow can be reached at or 727 445-4162.

Meet Fred Ulrich

Born: Oak Park, Ill.

Age: 58

Family: Dorian Ulrich, 58; daughter, Gigi Woodard, 39; son, Joshua Ulrich, 25.

Education: Bachelor's degree in English education, 1971, and master's degree in English, 1976, both at Florida State University; coursework in education leadership, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Experience: Joined Pinellas County schools in 1971 as an English teacher at Azalea Junior High School; 1972-1979, English teacher at Seminole High School; 1979-1986 English teacher at Northeast High School; 1986-1989, assistant principal at Bay Point Middle School; 1989, assistant principal at Dixie Hollins High School one semester; 1989-1992 assistant principal and program coordinator for the Center for Advanced Technologies at Lakewood High School; 1992-2002, principal at Osceola Middle School; 2002-2005, principal at Lakewood High; 2005-present, principal at Largo Middle School.

[Last modified November 10, 2007, 20:41:49]

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