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Like her mother before her, Cisely Scott made education her career. Initially, she followed in her mother’s footsteps, working as a Miami-Dade County Public Schools teacher. Then she became an assistant principal. On Thursday, she made her mother proud.

School district leaders named Scott the Assistant Principal of the Year. This marks the fourth consecutive year an FIU alumnus has won this award.

“When I heard my name it was just surreal,” said Scott, who earned a bachelor’s in elementary education in 2000. “I was overcome with joy, there was just this energy from a whole room of people being excited for you that just overtakes you. I felt humbled. I felt proud. I was excited.”

For Scott, a good day at work means motivating all 420 students at Miami’s Lenora B. Smith Elementary to succeed. Scott and her teachers celebrate students with perfect attendance and they plan math and science nights where students learn while having a good time.

“They’re having fun competing in different mathematical contests, I was competing with children in the fraction competition,” she said. “They build airplanes and see who can go the farthest. They’ve even learned to make ice cream.”

Scott also ensures teachers are motivated. She has built tight bonds with her teachers, knowing when to reassure them and when to push them to accomplish tougher goals.

“They know we’re setting the bar high and I want to inspire them to move a little higher,” Scott said. “We’re producing leaders and we’re building the bench as we go along.”