A group of community and business leaders spent Friday learning what it takes to run a school during Polk County Public Schools’ first Principal for a Day event.
“The idea here is to build relationships,” said Steven Warner, a PCPS community liaison who organized the event. “By inviting these local leaders in, we’re saying, ‘Let’s get to know one another, and let’s work together in the future.’ We all want the best education possible for our kids. This is a step toward uniting the schools and the business community behind that goal.”
Ten participants shadowed principals at Denison Middle, Elbert Elementary, Lake Shipp Elementary, Wahneta Elementary and Winter Haven High.
The Principals for a Day learned about the demographics, zoning boundaries, challenges, needs and successes of their schools. They also toured the campuses, and interacted with students and staff.
Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Katie Worthington Decker spent the day at Elbert Elementary. She’s excited for the partnerships that may grow from Principal for a Day.
“One of the Chamber’s top priorities is to get positive stories out there and share what is going right in our school system,” she said. “Getting different people from the business community in to see the schools and meet the staff is so important. I hope more and more business leaders will do the Principal for a Day program and become ambassadors for the school system.”
Added Lindsay Zimmerman, vice president of investor relations and marketing for the Central Florida Development Council:
“For the CFDC, working alongside the school district is important. We are looking for ways to support our students, teachers, principals and schools, and connect businesses to our schools.”
In addition to the Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce and the CFDC, participating businesses and organizations included: the City of Winter Haven, Citizens Bank & Trust, Winter Haven Sun, Six/Ten LLC, State Farm, Polyglass and TECO Energy.
Main photo caption: Elbert Elementary Principal William Dawson meets with Lindsay Zimmerman and Katie Worthington Decker.