By: Sharon Aron Baron
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s motto is “Be positive, be passionate, and be proud to be an Eagle.” Students and parents alike can now be proud of Principal Ty Thompson after he was just named one of six finalists for outstanding Principal of the Year.
With a strong passion for academics, attendance and activities, Thompson, is known as “The Master” scheduler. He develops, implements and maintains a comprehensive schedule of course offerings to serve the needs of all students, while mentoring colleagues through the complexities of creating an effective master schedule.
Thompson believes that for a school to succeed, students and faculty must have spirit and pride. As an effective leader, Thompson is guided by his mission statement to maintain a safe, secure and engaging environment where students are encouraged to think critically, communicate and collaborate, to ensure they are prepared for life after high school.
“We are so proud of our principals in Parkland,” said Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky. “Ty Thompson is such a dedicated and tireless principal. He can always be seen around the school and at the many schools events. Additionally he is a regular at Parkland City Hall when we are recognizing the achievements of our students. Ty is very deserving of the title “Principal of the Year” and we wish him the best of luck.”
Marjory Stoneman Douglas, built in 1990, serves students from both Parkland and Coral Springs.
The Caliber award recognizes principals for their exemplary administrative leadership and contributions to their schools and communities and the winner is announced during the annual Caliber Awards Ceremony, recognizing outstanding employees on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, at 6 p.m., at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.
Congratulations to the five other finalists for the 2017 Principal of the Year:
Marc Charpentier, Principal, Sunset Lakes Elementary School
Marc Charpentier has a longstanding history of creating high expectations for his students and staff, resulting in increased student achievement. Sunset Lakes Elementary School recently became the first elementary school in BCPS to become a Cambridge International School, which measures student progress based on internationally recognized standards. Charpentier is an advocate for the advancement of educational technology, and ensures that every classroom is equipped with smart boards, computers and iPads for students. He maintains a strong connection with the community and generates funding to create new programs and initiatives, including a robotics program for students.
Dr. Lewis Jackson, Principal, Dania Elementary School
Dr. Lewis Jackson is on a mission of educational excellence at Dania Elementary School supported by his staff, and students are excelling and achieving. He is recognized as a catalyst in his school and school community, and engages his school in numerous collaborative efforts with a goal to increase student achievement. Jackson believes the dedication and commitment of his teachers and staff almost always outshines programs. In addition to developing a strong team at Dania Elementary, he shares his passion and professionalism by teaching aspiring leaders, and serving as a mentor and coach to peer principals.
Christopher McGuire, Principal, Broward Virtual School
Through the leadership of Christopher McGuire, Broward Virtual School is the first public school in Florida offering students the ability to earn their diplomas exclusively online. McGuire is a staunch advocate for personalized learning through the use of educational technology, and provides innovative opportunities for students in grades K-12 to access learning from anywhere in the world. Broward Virtual achieved a graduation rate of 95 percent in 2016. McGuire works diligently to ensure that full-time students working outside of the traditional classroom get involved in clubs, organizations and community service activities.
Keith Peters, Principal, Gator Run Elementary School
Known for his unique and creative ideas, Keith Peters has transformed Gator Run Elementary School into a leader for innovative practices. He evoked meaningful thought and conversation around the value of failure, to help students to learn perseverance through adversity. Peters utilizes varying social media platforms to connect his school community. He is recognized as a role model for other educators on the use of technology and stays connected digitally, mentoring educators around the world to share ideas and best practices.
Elaine Saef, Principal, Panther Run Elementary School
As principal at Panther Run Elementary School, Elaine Saef views her role as one of removing barriers. She is known for creating and implementing programs and activities that motivate and inspire teachers to educate students to achieve their highest potential. Saef is dedicated to developing an inclusive school environment and a positive school culture that effectively puts students first, emphasizes academics, and builds teachers trust and adaptability. As a dynamic and engaging leader, Saef constantly challenges her school community to excel.
The annual Caliber Awards, which recognizes all teachers, school-related/District employees, principals and assistant principals of the year who were nominated by their schools and community, is supported by presenting and title sponsor BrightStar Credit Union. Also supporting the Caliber Awards are platinum sponsors Aetna and Bank of America; silver sponsors After School Programs, Inc. (ASP), Pearson, and Sunshine Child Programs; and bronze sponsors Herff Jones and the Broward Principals’ and Assistants’ Association.