2024. It seems like only yesterday we were ushering in 2023, full of hope, optimism and resolutions mixed with a healthy dose of apprehension and uncertainty for
what the new year would bring.

As is the nature of things, changes arrived in a variety of forms. As we wound down from the challenging years of the pandemic, we were able to focus our full attention on our key mission: educating our students. Our School Board recently named members William “Will” Furry, the new Chair, and Christy Chong, the Vice Chair, to a term that runs through November 2024. Wadsworth Elementary School welcomed a new principal, former Indian Trails Middle School assistant principal Amy Neuenfeldt, who stepped up to the challenge with grace and enthusiasm.

Four of our schools were named Apple Distinguished Schools. One of our elementary schools was selected as an Imagine National Beacon School. Our students and student-athletes scored achievements at regional and even state levels.

Change came my way as well. I was appointed unanimously by the School Board in September as Flagler Schools Superintendent after serving in the district as a teacher, principal, Assistant Superintendent of Academic Services and, as the 2023-24 school year approached, Interim Superintendent. I have to say, it has been a rewarding and exciting time for me, personally and professionally. I am optimistic as we roll into the next half of the school year; I anticipate even more achievements to be had by our Flagler Schools community.

Since I became Interim Superintendent last summer, I made it my mission to visit our schools as often as possible. Not only do I relish talking with students, faculty and staff, but in-classroom visits remind me why I do what I do—and what we all try to do—at Flagler Schools.

I’ve also made it a point to get out into the community and meet with our many stakeholders who also support our schools as we prepare our youth for their future. This means the business community as well as county residents who do not have children in school but who, nevertheless, care about our youth. I’d also like to give a huge “Thank You” to the Flagler County Education Foundation and that staff’s tireless work to raise funds for programs and scholarships that might not otherwise be available for our students and educators.

Our theme this year is Flagler Forward, and as we flip the calendar to a new year, I feel a sense of excitement and expectation of more good things ahead.

To our families, staff, educators and the community at large, I wish you a Happy New Year.

Cathy Mittelstadt
Superintendent, Flagler Schools