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Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014
Northwest News

Westchase Elementary principal gets fast start


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TAMPA – At Westchase Elementary School, Erik Holley is the new kid in town. He was named principal recently after Scott Weaver moved on to Martinez Middle School.

Holley was at Anderson Elementary School for more than four years after stints at Town and Country and Citrus Park. It was a sudden move for Holley, but one that he is looking forward to. He lives in North Tampa and, with Anderson in South Tampa, that called for a bit of a drive every day.

He has been at Westchase for only three weeks, but he’s already comfortable and fitting in. He has gone out of his way to meet as many of the Westchase students as possible and has already met with the Westchase PTA.

“They have made me feel comfortable here already,” Holley said. “This is a great school and I can’t wait to really get started.”

Holley had an interesting departure from Anderson where, he said, he had grown very attached. He was asked to sign something on his last day. He obliged and walked into a farewell celebration that he wasn’t expecting.

“I just told them all that I would get them someday,” Holley said. “Anderson was a great school, but now I have a chance to do some things at Westchase. Everybody here has been great.”

Holley said he is going the extra mile to communicate with parents and teachers. After only a couple of weeks he said he hasn’t gotten around to everyone yet, but it takes time to run a school.

“Everything has gone well so far,” Holley said. “I came here at the right time. This school is known for great parents and great kids and I am happy to be a part of it.”

Holley is a local, having attended both Gaither High School and the University of South Florida before earning his master’s at Nova University. He’s been achieving his dream all along, he said.

“I always wanted to be teach,” Holley said. “I had some people try to talk me out of it, but I always wanted this. We get to take care of kids. People don’t always know how hard it is, but it really is. It’s the greatest job.”

Holley got off to a big start on his first day, Oct. 12. He went in and out of classrooms talking to students, went to an ice cream social, and then met with the PTA.

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