Since I started blogging a month or so ago, I have mainly focused on tips that I generally send out to my teachers on a daily basis. That is all going to change today. While I will continue to publish my “Tips of the Day,” I will also begin to write reflections about my new role as Principal.
Since 2000, I have been an Assistant Principal at 2 inner city schools in Orlando, Florida. Most people think Orlando is just Mickey Mouse and Universal Studios; but we have some pretty rough parts that have seen surging crime rates in the last 24 months. Over the past year, I have been interviewing for principal positions within Orange County Public Schools. On February 12, 2007, I received a phone call from the Executive Area Director informing me that I was the leading candidate for the position of Principal at Thornebrooke Elementary School in Ocoee, Florida, which is on the outskirts of Orlando. On February 22, 2007, I met with Superintendent Ronald Blocker, who decided that I would become the next Principal at Thornebrooke Elementary.
As much as I would love to tell you about Thornebrooke today – I am not. I will save that for a future blog.
Today was a bittersweet day. I informed my staff that tomorrow night I would be going before the Orange County School Board to be named the new Principal at Thornebrooke Elementary. My current principal, Mr. Carl Colton, did an excellent job of sharing a story about a former principal as he led into telling the staff that I would be leaving. When he introduced me, he said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, please help me bring up the newest OCPS principal, Mr. Kendrick.”
I was shocked to see my current staff gave me a standing ovation. I was even more shocked to see that they kept standing and clapping. I was extremely flattered. I then let them know the timeline for my impending departure. I let them know what I have learned from each of them and that my time at Orange Center was time well spent. It is hard to talk about yourself and to say goodbye, especially since I had laughed and cried with many in that room. It was extremely difficult to the people that I had hired. They put their faith in me, as I did them. It was very moving as each member of the staff walked by to give me a hug as they let me know the impact I had on them – that was very emotional.
Tomorrow night – the School Board Meeting.
Until then, this is Principal Kendrick, signing off!!!