Wisdom from Local Principals

Local principals give advice on being successful in school

Wisdom from our Local Principals

What is the best thing parents can do to make this a good school year?


The best thing parents can do to make this school year a good year for their children is to constantly remind and reassure their children of their potential and to maintain calm through challenging situations as the child will feed off of the parent’s reactions.
Darrell Fulford, Principal, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School



The best thing parents can do for their children to help them have a good school year is to ensure that their children are held accountable through a loving support system that includes the parent’s personal daily engagement.
Gina Tanase Burkett, Head of School, Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg



The best thing parents can do to make this a good school year for their children is to model positive thinking. Ask your child about their favorite class or activity, or the best part of lunch or recess. Don’t let your first words be “How was so-and-so today? Did he/she say anything to you, or did they get in trouble?” Parents can set the tone for positive interactions with teachers and peers that will last well beyond the school year.
Mrs. Rose Smoot, Principal, St. Paul Catholic School



Be a “Learning Role Model” for your children. Be a lifelong learner yourself.
Robert J Fine Jr., Headmaster/President, Admiral Farragut Academy



• Encourage routines. Children could establish routines that minimize thinking about where they left their books, iPad, and homework. Routines minimize unnecessary stress.

• Minimize video games and other media that do not contribute to the improvement of academic, creative, physical and social-emotional skills.

• Help spark a love for reading and learning. Read and explore their interests and expose them to your interests. For older students, make sure they have read their assignments thoroughly.

• Let children learn how to stand up for themselves, learn how to overcome adversity and take risks. The following quote from a colleague summed up the thoughts of many teachers. “Please give your student(s) a break. Learning (regardless of the subject) is a process that involves varying degrees of failure as well as success based upon the likes/interests, skills, and physical and psychological makeup of the individual child in question. Allow yourselves and your child to accept this process while still maintaining high, long-term expectations. Also, please do not equate your student’s self worth (in your own mind or to your child) with his/her academic achievements and/or failures. It is high school and they are children; please allow and encourage them to find joy in both.

Mike Murphy, Headmaster, Shorecrest Preparatory School




This article originally ran in GoodLiving Magazine in 2015. All rights reserved.


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Written by Pamela Settle, owner of Light Shine Media Group and publisher of GoodLiving® Magazine. All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog may be reproduced without permission.

GoodLiving Magazine® is printed six times a year for families in Pinellas County, Florida, home to municipalities including Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, Dunedin, Largo and St. Petersburg. The densest county in Florida, population is near 1 Million people. Past issues are available for viewing digitally on the website.

As an advocate for children and families, Pamela Settle serves as the local committee chairperson for The Children’s Movement of Florida, a non-partisan advocacy organization that works on behalf of the well being of children throughout the State of Florida.

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