This is a continuation of yesterday’s blog – I Said Farewell Today. If you have not read that blog, I have been appointed as the new Principal at Thornebrooke Elementary in Orange County Public Schools (Orland, Florida). Today was the school board meeting, tomorrow, I meet my new staff.
My wife and I got to the School Board about 30-minutes before the meeting was supposed to begin. My parents both showed up as well and surprised me by bringing my 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Sara Simpson. I have always kept up with Mrs. Simpson and she ranks as one of my all time favorite teachers. I was blessed to have 2 of my teachers, front office clerk and my current principal attend the meeting. I know for my principal, it was sort of a passing of the baton.
Before the meeting started, it was great to have all of the Area Superintendents and other district officials come to my family and I and congratulate me. It was pretty special to have people that have seen me come up through the system come over and tell me they were proud. It was an honor to have some of them roll off some of the schools that I have been at over the years, as well as some of the accomplishments.
Right before the meeting was to start, I was getting a little anxious, because I could not find my mentor for the past 7 years, Mrs. Grace Lias. Just before the meeting started, I had someone come up from behind me and tap me on the shoulder. I knew it was her. We embraced for what seemed like a few minutes; however, it was probably a few seconds. She has been an amazing mentor to me over the years and I was very proud that she was with me tonight.
Once the meeting started, the Superintendent introduced me as the new principal at Thornebrooke Elementary. I then had an opportunity to address the School Board and the audience. I was told by both my principal and mentor – keep it short and simple. I did. I thanked the Superintendent, Board Chairwoman and Area Superintendent, as well as introduced my family and special guests. It was a special evening.
Tomorrow, I meet my new staff for the first time.