Meet your new principal!
This summer, the principal leadership changed at three of the neighborhood’s largest public middle and elementary schools — including Hendricks Avenue Elementary School, Alfred I. duPont Middle School and Julia Landon College Preparatory and Leadership Development School.
We touched base with the new heads of these fine community schools and learned how excited they are about their new school roles — and most importantly, about the students, teachers and community they’ll be serving come late August.
Please enjoy meeting these exemplary academic leaders! And consider ways you could play a role supporting their success educating the neighborhood’s youngest residents.
Name: Lacy Healy, Principal of Hendricks Elementary School
Hometown: Born and raised in Cherokee, Iowa and have lived in Florida for the past fourteen years.
Neighborhood of residence: Oakleaf Plantation in Orange Park
Family: Husband, James Healy, and a five-year-old English springer spaniel named Chase.
Teaching/administration experience: I Have taught 3rd, 5th, and 6th grade, was a school-based Standards Coach for two years; was assistant principal at Lake Shore Middle School for three years; and was principal of John N.C. Stockton Elementary for 4 years.
Why are you excited about this new leadership opportunity? This new leadership experience will provide me with the opportunity to develop more relationships with people in the Jacksonville community (specifically the San Marco area). Hendricks Avenue Elementary is known for their rich traditions and strong community involvement and I plan to build upon what has previously been established at this school. In addition, I am excited to bring new ideas that will positively impact student achievement as well as the “whole child.”
What are some of the plans you have in store for the 2012-2013 school year? One of my priorities is to continue to meet and get to know my students, staff, parents, and community members. My plan is to build upon all of the great teaching and learning that is already happening at Hendricks Avenue Elementary.
What kind of roles should teachers, students, staff, parents and the community play in the education of your school’s students? As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I believe that everyone must join together to work toward the common goal of educating our children.
What should students, teachers, parents know about your leadership style? When it comes to the type of leader that I am, I want everyone to know that I have an open-door policy. Students, teachers, parents, and community members should feel comfortable in coming to me to discuss any celebrations, feedback, comments, or questions that they have. Not only am I excited to be actively engaged in instruction and activities during the school day, I look forward to participating in extracurricular activities and events at the school and in the community.
What might your students find you doing when you’re not behind the principal’s desk — in your free time? In my free time I enjoy running, outside activities, gardening, traveling, reading, and spending time with my family.
Name: Marilyn M. Barnwell, Principal of Alfred I. duPont Middle School
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Neighborhood of residence: Argyle
Family: Husband, Eugene B. Barnwell, Jr. and daughter, Kayla Genae Barnwell
Teaching/administration experience: Prior to beginning my career in education I worked for eight years at Merrill Lynch Funds Processing Group and Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation as an Assistant Supervisor in Loan Administration Research. In August 2000, I began my teaching career as a Social Studies instructor for Horizons Unlimited Academy Charter School. In 2004, I taught US History at Landon Middle School and remained there until October 2005 when I was promoted to Assistant Principal of Student Services at Mandarin Middle School. At Mandarin Middle School I served as Assistant Principal of Student Services for four years and Assistant Principal of Curriculum for the past three years. I have completed Duval County Public School’s Leadership Development I & II Programs as well as the Assistant Principal Academy.
Why are you excited about this new leadership opportunity? I’m excited about the opportunity to prepare all of our students for post secondary education. As the first in my generation to graduate college, I know the importance of creating a learning environment that fosters the belief that all students can attend college and compete in a growing global economy. In addition, I look forward to showing students by example what they can achieve if they work hard and dedicate themselves to a rigorous course of study.
What are some of the plans you have in store for the 2012-2013 school year? I will continue to build upon the programs and initiatives that were established by my predecessor Teresa Mowbray. We are looking forward to our Fidelity Transformation Day slated for August 11, 2012 in which employees from Fidelity Investments and volunteers from HandsOn Jacksonville will work to complete improvements to our campus. It is also my goal to establish relationships with local colleges and business leaders to create a mentoring program that will help students to build leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills.
What kind of roles should teachers, students, staff, parents and the community play in the education of your school’s students? It is my philosophy that learning outcomes for students are reached when all resources including parents, school, business, and community come together to achieve optimal results for raising academic performance. The role of all stakeholders is to be an active participant in the shaping of our school culture and to promote overall community engagement. I encourage the community to join our School Advisory Council and to become active participants in our PTSA organization.
What should students, teachers, parents know about your leadership style? Most people describe my leadership style as firm but fair. When making decisions I always put the best interest of the child first.
What might your students find you doing when you’re not behind the principal’s desk — in your free time? I love to spend my free time with my family and friends attending church, visiting the beach, theme parks, and bookstores. Most of all I enjoy spending quality family time at home.
Name: Sara Bravo, Principal of Julia Landon College Preparatory and Leadership Development School
Hometown: DeLand, Florida — although I have been a resident of Jacksonville since 1994 and now consider this city my long-term home.
Neighborhood or residence: Arlington
Family: I have been married to my husband, Toma, for nine years. He runs a personal training business and is an amazingly supportive husband. We have seven-year-old twins, Ben and Maggie. They attend Pine Forest Elementary School and are our reason for everything. I am also very close to my mom, a San Marco resident. She is a phenomenal grandmother and mother in every sense of the word. I must also mention that we are an animal-loving family and our cats do count as members of the Bravo household.
Teaching/administration experience: I graduated from UNF in 1999 and began my teaching career at Landon Middle School as a 7th grade Geography teacher. I clearly remember walking up Landon’s front steps to interview for that position and often reflect on that memory as I walk up those same steps now. Life certainly does come full circle.
After my first year of teaching I was given the opportunity to join the faculty at LaVilla School of the Arts, then a brand new school and magnet program in Jacksonville. I gained so much experience and insight being part of the beginning of that tremendous program and enjoyed five years of teaching and three years as the school instructional coach at LaVilla. During that time I attended Jacksonville University earning my master’s degree in Educational Leadership, got married, started a family and developed lasting professional and personal relationships that I cherish to this day. LaVilla’s current principal, Mrs. Janelle Wagner, remains a strong mentor and guide in my work and in my life. In 2007 I crossed paths with Dr. Kelly Coker-Daniel and was intrigued to learn of a new magnet program she was charged with creating at Landon Middle School. I am not quite certain whether she pursued me or I pursued the opportunity, both perhaps, but in the spring of 2007 I joined the faculty at what is now Julia Landon College Preparatory and Leadership Development School. I have proudly served as an Assistant Principal at Julia Landon for the past four years and was recently appointed as the school’s new principal.
Why are you excited about this new leadership opportunity? I remember my elementary school principal, Mrs. Joan Kinsey. She was a tiny woman full of spunk and she had a great deal of patience for an inquisitive and often active little girl named Sara. As she and I grew older over my years in elementary school, I vividly remember thinking that I would like to do her job. I loved the notion of being a school leader, a teacher of teachers, a person who walks down the hall and knows students’ names. I never lost that dream and through my years of teaching and serving in other capacities, I made every effort to surround myself with strong leaders, particularly strong principals. I am excited to take every lesson I’ve ever learned and apply them to my work in this new position.
What are some of the plans you have in store for the 2012-2013 school year? I would first like to note that Julia Landon is a tremendously successful middle school due in great part to the leadership of Dr. Coker-Daniel. Her vision for the program and daily work to make that vision a reality has created a truly unique and positive environment for our students. My immediate plan is to create a transition that is seamless for each child, parent and teacher returning to and entering our school. My plans also include continuing the tradition of high academic and behavioral expectations for each and every student while nurturing the creative and unique gifts within each child. I also believe strongly in the necessity of consistent communication between teachers and parents and plan to continue and strengthen those channels over the coming school year.
What kind of roles should teachers, students, staff, parents and the community play in the education of your school’s students? Julia Landon, formerly Landon Middle School and Landon High School, is a school steeped in tradition and history. The San Marco community has embraced our magnet program from early on and we are grateful and fortunate to be centrally located in such a warm and generous community. Through an ongoing partnership with Southside Baptist Church, parishioners positively impact our school by mentoring our students and serving our teachers. The Julia Landon School Advisory Council and PTSA are incredibly highly functioning groups of individuals who choose to take additional time from their already busy lives to serve the children in our school in a purposeful and selfless manner. Julia Landon teachers simply exude professionalism, knowledge and the belief in the ability for each and every child to succeed and grow. Most importantly, the students of Julia Landon, under my leadership, will remain the focus and reason for the work we do each day.
What should students, teachers, parents know about your leadership style? I am an enthusiastic and outgoing person by nature and those traits naturally pepper my leadership style. I love people and working with people, particularly middle school aged children. I love the diversity of varying perspectives and welcome suggestions and strategies that might differ from my own. While I am confident in making final decisions, I am also keenly aware of the great talent and experience of the stakeholders of my school. If you were to ask the teachers and students I have worked with over the years, I believe you would hear that I am approachable and available, fair and compassionate, but that I also know when to draw the line and handle business as needed. I believe strong leaders are continually developing the characteristics necessary to be effective in their roles. Simply put, leaders never stop learning.
What might your students find you doing when you’re not behind the principal’s desk — in your free time? I told my husband recently that he might not see as much of me this school year. He responded that he and our children would have to attend more school events! While I do not deny the reality of the demands of the principalship, I also firmly believe that every individual must put their family first and I love spending time with mine. My children love to be outdoors and we can often be found swimming, riding bikes and going to parks on days off. I very much enjoy long runs on the weekends (and shorter ones during the week if that can be managed). I live near the river and my favorite escape is on the riverbank at dawn taking very amateur pictures of the egrets, herons, ibis and anhingas. My second favorite escape would be in books, as I consider myself an avid reader.