TEMPLE TERRACE – The roles and responsibilities of principals Carol Brown and Annmarie Perez won’t significantly change when they welcome students back to campus on Aug. 20.
But their tried-and-true routes to their respective campuses will need to be altered a bit and likely will take some getting used to.
Brown, who spent three years as principal during her 13-year tenure at Temple Terrace Elementary, recently switched positions with Perez, who was in the same leadership role for three years at MOSI Partnership School, a primary education institution situated on the Museum of Science & Industry campus.
With 15 years as an educator, all with the Hillsborough County School District, Brown embraces the opportunity to take on a new challenge and make the most of what MOSI has to offer her students through its exhibits and science library.
“I’m excited and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Brown, a Temple Terrace resident who holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of South Florida and a master’s in administrative leadership from Nova Southeastern University. She plans to work toward her doctorate at USF.
While moving forward with her new job, she’ll cherish the many memories of her time at Temple Terrace Elementary, especially the garden she helped start and watched flourish.
“It gave the kids a hands-on project that related to the classroom, and to see their faces light up when they saw things grow was awesome,” Brown said. “One little girl let out a loud scream when she saw her very first strawberry grow in a garden.”
Perez, a Lutz resident who was born and raised in Florida, has spent 24 years as an educator in the Hillsborough County school system. She holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from USF.
“I’m just excited to be part of the Temple Terrace community, and I look forward to carrying on the tradition,” she said.
At the same time, Perez plans to institute a personal practice she’s grown accustomed to using and has found valuable at other schools, including MOSI Partnership.
“I would be down at the bus stop in the morning to greet each of the children, and I could tell by the look on someone’s face if something wasn’t right. So I would pull that child aside and ask, ‘What’s going on,’” said Perez, who noted her strategy goes a long way toward making a difference in the children’s lives.
Temple Terrace Elementary received a “D” and MOSI Partnership a “C” in the Florida Department of Education’s recently released school grades for 2013.
Joyce McKenzie can be reached at JoyceCMcKenzie@gmail.com.