In Honor of National Principals Month, Brevard Public Schools Launches ‘Portraits in Leadership’ Series
By Space Coast Daily // October 23, 2020
Each BPS Principal Asked Who Inspired Them
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – In honor of National Principals Month, Brevard Public Schools launched the “Portraits in Leadership” series and asked each BPS Principal who inspired them to become a leader.
JENNIFER BROCKWELL, South Lake Elementary
“Dr. Carol Mela inspired me to be a leader. She saw something in me that I didn’t initially see and I’m so glad that she gave me the opportunities under her leadership to grow into where I am today.”
KRISTA MILLER, Astronaut High
“My dad, Steve Barrowman, was my inspiration to become a leader in Brevard Public Schools as he is a retired BPS Administrator. He always told me to be fair and consistent to everyone—students, staff, families and the community. He led by example and held every one, especially himself, to a high standard.
He had to make decisions that were sometimes unfavorable to others but for the betterment of the school and the individuals involved. His goal was for his students and his staff to achieve their highest potential for long term success; he truly cared for all of his students and staff that he impacted over his 35+ year tenure.
It did not matter to him what role or position you held in the organization—you were important, you were a role model, and you had the opportunity to make a difference. I will always look up to my dad and aspire to be a strong, positive, and servant leader like he has been for so many people in this community.”
DARLENE ROGERS, Westside Elementary
“The person who inspired me to be a leader /principal was Mr. Jim Willcoxon. His best advice to me was “love what you do each day and be yourself.”
ASHLEY TOLL, Turner Elementary
“Dr. Dawna O’Brien and Dr. Nel Marshall inspired me to become an educational leader. They taught me many things about leadership, but most importantly- students come first. If you do what is best for your students, you are making the right decision.”
JENNIFER JULIAN, Gemini Elementary
“Former Port Malabar and Gemini Principal as well as BPS Principal of the Year, Joe Loffek inspired me to be the leader I am today. As a 4th grade teacher, I always admired Mr. Loffek’ s ability to promote student achievement while fostering a positive school culture.
“Mr. Loffek was the first person to encourage me to pursue a master’s degree in educational leadership. He afforded me numerous opportunities within the school and community to impact students. Through his extensive knowledge, modeling, and countless hours of time, Mr. Loffek prepared me to meet every new challenge as an opportunity. The greatest advice Mr. Loffek shared with me was, “Always take care of your people first!” I hold this statement true each and every day.”
KASSIE ERENSTOFT, Surfside Elementary
“I knew in high school that I wanted to be a school leader. My mom was 15 years old when she learned to read. It was one amazing teacher that made all the difference for her.
Not only did I want to be a classroom teacher and make a difference for my students, but I knew I wanted to be a part of the school-wide change, ensuring that all students have the opportunity to learn and grow into the very best versions of themselves.”
KATHLEEN CAMPIONE, Lockmar Elementary
“For me, it was two people who inspired me to be a leader. The first person was Dr. Barbara Murray from UCF. She was the first person to suggest that I would make a great school leader and her guidance got me to enroll in the Educational Leadership Program at UCF.
“The second person was Mr. Barry Pichard. While I worked through my program at UCF his guidance and example as a leader gave me the confidence and skills to be a successful leader. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the guidance and inspiration from both of these exemplary leaders.”
JANENE JOST, Sunrise Elementary
“Former BPS Principal, Mrs. Elaine Passanisi inspired me to be a leader. She recognized qualities in me, which I did not see in myself. Elaine told me I have the gift of seeing the big picture. I always looked up to her for putting the students’ best interests at the heart of every decision. Elaine always made it about the little people we serve, and this inspired me to become a principal. She is a great mentor and friend.”
CANDACE JONES, Audubon Elementary
“Sherry Tomlinson, Principal at Kennedy Middle School, inspired me to be a leader. I worked under her leadership at Atlantis, and she just had this amazing way of inspiring people to step into leadership roles. Her dedication and passion in shared leadership trickled down to all those who worked with her.
“If you had a room full of BPS administrators, and you asked how many worked for Sherry Tomlinson, the show of hands would flood the room. I filled many various roles under her leadership, but it was her encouragement to further my career and to pursue my leadership degree that has led me to where I am today. As a principal myself now, I continue to strive to live up to her leadership style every day!”
BOBBY PRUETT, Satellite High
“I’ve had the privilege of working with so many great leaders in my now 23-year career. Each one has helped shape who I am as a principal today. Watching the work of the late Dr. McIntyre early in my career sparked my interest in leadership. As I continued in my leadership roles, now retired principal, Mr. Andrew Johnson provided me with wisdom, guidance, and so much more that helped me move into the role of a school principal.
“Now, in my current role as a high school principal, the everyday conversations I have with my colleagues is invaluable. The work we do together to help each other and the relationships we have built have undoubtedly helped each of us as school leaders.”
BURT “BUSTER” CLARK, Rockledge High
“My greatest inspiration in regards to leadership has no doubt been my father. I distinctly remember him telling me when I was about 10 years old, “Son, people are blessed with all sorts of different talents, abilities, and skills, all of which have their own individual merits and should be used to make the world a better place. One of the most impactful abilities is the ability to lead people. A great leader can change lives, can make someone believe and accomplish things they never dreamed they could before. Not everyone is called to be a leader, but if you are, and you answer that call, you owe it to yourself and to anyone who may choose to follow you to be great.
“I was fortunate enough to watch my dad serve and lead in many different capacities and in every case I saw a purposeful blend of confidence and humility, of compassion and steadfast resolve and above all else, a genuine desire to help people. I truly hope that people who know me, and have worked with me, see that same type of leader in me.”
JENNIFER BORN, Lewis Carroll Elementary
“I was inspired to become a leader by Dr. William Glasser. Studying his theories about Choice Theory, Reality Therapy, and Lead Management helped me to become a better teacher and a better human being. I left the classroom with the goal of having a positive impact as a lead manager at the school level. Glasser said, “The ultimate use of power is to empower others.”
MIKE MAHL, Palm Bay Elementary
“My father has been the greatest inspiration into my leadership journey. When I was young he shared there are three types of people in the world, leaders, followers and those that let the world pass them by and he challenged me with deciding which type of person I wanted to be and what impact I would have on others. Professionally, I have been inspired by the leadership and mentoring of leaders like Jim Willcoxon, Dr. McIntyre and Kathy Eward. These leaders had a passion for education and modeled service to students and families.”
MARK RENDELL, Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High
“When I began as a classroom teacher I had the good fortune of working for two amazing principals; Dr. Carlton Lampkins at Kenmore Middle School and Dr. Marie Djouadi at Wakefield High School. They both inspired me to pursue a leadership position. Dr. Djouadi set high expectations for everyone – students and staff – and never wavered. Dr. Lampkins was extremely supportive, but also pushed you to improve. I remember my first classroom observation with him. I thought my lesson was flawless and after we met I had a list of things to work on. As good as I thought I had been, he wanted me to be even better.”