Q: What can you share about the recently concluded school year?
A: We just finished all of our graduation ceremonies and more than 3,000 seniors were sent off to their next great adventure in life. As someone who attended all of the graduation ceremonies (at TIAA Bank Field), I can tell you we experienced the gamut of weather. From getting drenched at the Nease graduation to roasting at Creekside’s… it was nevertheless a joyous time at each one.
Q: Have you learned of any test results from the Florida Department of Education yet?
A: We have so far [as of interview date of June 15] only received our third grade reading scores and we are so excited that the students held their own and the score did not slip. Our third grade readers scored 78 percent in proficiency and we are really pleased that the students didn’t lose ground. The Florida Department of Education will not issue school grades or school recognition dollars this year.
Q: Do you have any school administration shifts to announce?
A: This is the time of year for new principals and some years, like this one, we have a lot of movement. Of the 12 schools in the Northwest, four will have new principals in the fall, all because the original principals moved on to other schools. At Durbin Creek, we welcome Ashley McCormick; at Hickory Creek, the new principal will be Yvette Gonzalez; Linda Carnall will lead Switzerland Point and Greg Bergamasco has been announced as the principal for new High School III.
Q: What is the latest update on High School III?
A: The school board officially adopted the zoning plan at our June 8 meeting and as of July 1, the principal will officially start his job and will begin reaching out to the community to start the process of naming the school. We expect there to be community meetings and the name proposals to be presented to the school board in the fall. The principal will also begin hiring administrative staff; teachers will likely be hired in spring 2022. Greg has a lot of experience and will be a great fit to get this school going from scratch.
As for the school itself, vertical construction has begun. It’s going to be a beautiful school, just like Tocoi Creek (which should be finished with construction in July).
Q: What is the school board busy with during the summer?
A: During the summertime, the district and the school board are busy with planning and staff development. This summer will look more “normal” on our school campuses, with summer camps etc. We’re looking forward to the first day of school, Aug. 16, which will allow the completion of the first semester prior to winter break. This start date is still about a week later than our “usual,” but since we started last year two weeks late, we are trying to preserve a bit of summer while gradually getting back on our regular schedule.
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