Principal Name: Tina P. Waldrop

School you work at: Osceola Elementary School

School Attended: University of North Florida

Years at Present Assignment: 7.5

What is your school’s motto and how do you make it come alive in your school? Our school’s motto is “Better Never Quits.” It signifies the importance of always learning and improving. We want our students to know that there are no limits for them. They just need to keep working, learning and trying and when these are put into action, better things will come each and every day. It’s about never being complacent with where you are in life. You set one goal, you meet that goal, you set another and always strive for the very best.

Describe your school’s atmosphere? We are a very family-oriented school. Our school is warm and inviting to visitors and we love having people visit and work with our students. The school family is important to us and we encourage and support a positive atmosphere.

What do you enjoy most about being a principal? I enjoy being able to impact student’s lives by supporting the hard work of the teachers. This impact also extends to helping families in order to support our children throughout their daily lives.

What is your favorite book? As a child my grandmother would take me to the little library in downtown St. Augustine. I can remember the screen door and the musty smell of old books. It was there where I fell in love with books and reading. I would read any books that had to do with horses! Two favorites of mine were Black Beauty and The Black Stallion. As an adult, I loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The books are about resiliency and grit in the face of almost unsurmountable odds. The lessons of friendship and loyalty come in many forms and the reader learns that trusting in others is a strength not a weakness.

What is your favorite quote? “I may not be able to change the direction of the winds, but I can adjust my sails to reach my destination.”

What brings out the best in every student? The feeling of connectedness and a sense of belonging. Every student needs to feel that they have a special place in school. When they are absent, they need to know they are missed and when at school, feel cared for and loved. Students also need to know they will be challenged to do their very best in school. They need to feel that when they are challenged, and fall short of the challenge, they are in a safe place that allows them to keep trying. Students receive whatever support they need, celebrate when they reach their goal….and then they set another goal!

How do you communicate with parents? Any way I can! Parenting in today’s world is hard and we must help our parents any way we can. I want our parents to feel they truly are in partnership with the school to help their child succeed. If parent conferences need to be over the phone, in the parent pick up line or at a basketball game, we will accommodate! A parent’s role doesn’t end when the student enters the schoolhouse and the school’s role doesn’t end when the child goes home.

What are you most proud of about your school? I am most proud of the dedication and commitment of our teachers, staff and students. Osceola is an amazing place to work and learn. Last year was a tough year for us, but the staff rallied around the students and accepted every challenge that was presented to them in a big way. We knew the growth of each and every student was critical and that priority was more important than ever.

What message do you want every student at your school to hear? You are an amazing person! You have the potential to do whatever you put your mind to.

Parent Magazine