Tell me a little bit about Bolles Lower School Ponte Vedra Beach Campus.
The Bolles Lower School Ponte Vedra Beach Campus opened in 1999 and is a beautiful setting for young minds to grow. It offers exceptional education with a focus on the whole child for students from pre-K through grade five. The Ponte Vedra Beach Campus is a place where all students feel valued. Our teachers enthusiastically nurture and guide students to become the best possible versions of themselves. We offer strong academics, outdoor learning and vast opportunities in the arts. Students at Bolles are developed into leaders. They begin public speaking as early as pre-kindergarten, and our performing arts and visual arts programs encourage a growth mindset and creativity. Incredibly talented and caring teachers focus on experiential learning and also make the Ponte Vedra Beach Campus a great place to enroll children.
We offer students opportunities to shine on stage, in the classroom and on the field. Our Advantage program also allows students to sign up for after-school activities that include soccer, cheerleading, running club, chess, robotics, weaving, art, tennis, Chinese and even a unicorn club!
Students at the Bolles Ponte Vedra Beach Campus participate in multiple service opportunities throughout the year, and character development is infused into our days. We encourage manners in the lunchroom and have transformed the cafeteria into a "Bulldog Bistro," so students feel that eating in the lunchroom is special. We also host a "golden spoon" lunch each trimester to honor students who have displayed exceptional manners, and these students are treated to a special lunch!
Tell me about your role there. What are your responsibilities?
I am the Bolles Lower School Ponte Vedra Beach Campus head of school. This role allows me to guide curriculum decisions, mentor teachers, partner with parents and the community and lead our students as they develop into the leaders of our future. I manage the budget, partner with a fantastic security team to ensure the safety of our students and work closely with the communications department to share the amazing things happening on our campus.
What is your background? What led you to this career?
I am a lifelong learner with over 25 years of experience in elementary education. I began my career in the classroom, and I had extraordinary leaders who encouraged me to pursue a career in administration. I have taught grades one, two, four and five as well as physical education to grades K-5. I also served as a literacy and math intervention coach before moving into administration.
Do you have a philosophy of education or a specific approach that you employ?
I believe that it is our job as educators to develop confident, joyful, lifelong learners that will change the world. My approach is to build strong relationships with students, faculty, parents and the community. The diversity of mind that comes together in our students, faculty and families makes us stronger, and I deeply value each perspective. Developing each child individually to become the best possible version of him/herself is a passion and one that every employee at Bolles shares.
What do you like best about what you do?
I love spending time in the classroom. Watching the phenomenal teachers in action and getting to know our students’ strengths and areas for growth is such a joyful part of my day. Listening, learning alongside them and sometimes dancing with them makes my heart happy, and I feel incredibly lucky to be part of this dynamic team.
Where are you from originally? What do you like best about living here on the First Coast?
I am originally from Michigan. I grew up on the Great Lakes and have always loved living near the water. Living on the First Coast is a dream! The weather is perfect, and the community is wonderful. Everyone is incredibly welcoming. Being part of the Bolles community and seeing my own children, as well as the students on our campus, thrive has been one of the best things about moving to Jacksonville.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I love to go for walks with my family and my dog Baily. We enjoy going to the beach, rock climbing and ice skating. I also love to read and soak up the Florida sunshine. Most recently, I have taken an interest in boxing.
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