Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Noticed in the Pensacola News-Journal today that Dr. John Dunsworth, who volunteered to serve as principal of a failing Santa Rosa County elementary school that was in danger of being closed due to poor test scores and declining enrollment, passed away Monday in Pensacola. He was 81.

Dr. Dunsworth, who had served as a school superintendent in Santa Ana, California among several administrative positions in his 50-plus year career as an educator, offered his services for only one dollar a year in the effort to save Munson Elementary School. Teaming with teachers, parents, and community members, Munson under his tenure enjoyed sharply increased test scores which in several areas were the highest in Santa Rosa County even as funding from the school district decreased. He was honoured six years ago by the Florida Legislature for his career, and especially his work at Munson Elementary.

He later wrote a book about the experience, The Dollar-A-Year Principal: Miracle At Munson. He made this observation, which should be taken to heart by many in the field of education today:

"Good schools see the potential in everyone and work to develop that potential. That's the key."


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