New Leadership In North Port Schools
Written by Joyce Cattelane
New Heron Creek Principal
Michael James has been appointed principal of Heron Creek Middle School, replacing William Bolander, who has relocated to Taylor Ranch Middle School
James was house principal of South High School in Doyelstown, Pa. From 2008-2010 he served as director of the Infinity Cyber Academy/Options Academy in Quakertown, Pa. He also taught junior high and high school English six years in New York and Pennsylvania. He was named Teacher of the Year at Mendon High School in New York. He is no stranger to Florida, however. He taught English at Venice High School from 2003-2006 where he was also named Teacher of the Year and was an Advanced Placement English teacher at Pine View School in 2006-2007. In 2007-2008, he served as assistant principal intern at Booker High School.
James earned his bachelor’s degree from West Chester University in Pennsylvania in secondary education and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of South Florida. He has done graduate work at Wake Forest University and the University of Pennsylvania. This fall he hopes to complete his doctorate in organizational leadership from Grand Canyon University in Arizona.
James said, “It is an honor and a pleasure to be returning to Sarasota County schools. I am excited about the opportunities and challenges ahead. I look forward to working with a dedicated and talented staff, a wonderful community and outstanding students. I also am excited to continue the tradition of excellence that defines Heron Creek and is expected in the Sarasota County Schools.”
For more information on Sarasota County schools, visit their website at www.sarasotacountyschools.net.
New Principal at Toledo Blade
Toledo Blade Elementary School will have a new principal effective July 1, but Jennifer Dolciotto is no stranger to the school. She has served there as assistant principal six years and succeeds Christopher Renouf, who will be reassigned to Ashton Elementary School in Sarasota.
Dolciotto said, “I am thrilled to begin this new phase in my journey at Toledo Blade Elementary. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and honored to follow in the footsteps of such a great leader. Maintaining the strong instructional programs, valued school traditions and the continued focus on family and community will be a top priority. Toledo Blade is an amazing school and it is such a privilege to be selected as the next principal. The opportunities that lie ahead are exciting!”
Dolciotto holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of South Florida. She taught science at Venice Middle School and Laurel Nokomis School nine years. She served an administrative internship at Pine View School and was an assistant principal at Laurel Nokomis School from 2004-2006. In 2006 she began as assistant principal at Toledo Blade.
She added, “Over the last six years, working with Mr. Renouf has been an incredible experience. He is an exceptional Principal! He inspires others to think ‘out of the box’ and strive to do their very best. Mr. Renouf’s tireless commitment to meeting the many diverse needs of the students, families and staff is evident by his compassion, drive and determination. Additionally, his organizational skills, interpersonal skills and work ethic are second to none. He
is truly a dedicated leader who is focused on the success of all
children. It is my great fortune that I have been able to work with and learn from him over the last six years. Toledo Blade will miss his positive and encouraging manner and contagious enthusiasm.”
Renouf will succeed Bill Muth as principal of Ashton Elementary in Sarasota effective July 1, where he had previously served in that position from 1998 to 2006. At Toledo Blade, Renouf enhanced student and staff recognition programs, improved parent and community partnerships and increased staff retention. He helped establish the SOAR program for talented and gifted students and guided the school to achieve adequate yearly progress, as defined by the national No Child Left Behind Law, for five consecutive years.
In October 2011 Toledo Blade was recognized as a Florida Title I Distinguished School by the Florida Department of Education and the National Association of State Title I Directors — one of only six schools in the state among 1,853 Title I schools and the only school in southwest Florida to receive the honor for the 2010-11 school year. The schools selected to be Title I Distinguished Schools must have a poverty rate of at least 35 percent for the selected year (making them eligible Title I schools), have demonstrated high academic achievement for two or more consecutive years, and must have met or exceeded state standards for making adequate yearly progress for two or more consecutive years.
“I will cherish the many memories from my time at Toledo Blade,” Renouf said. “In just six years, Toledo Blade has gone from a No Child Left Behind ‘School in Need of Improvement’ to a ‘Title I Distinguished School’ as a result of the incredible efforts of our students, staff and school community. I am extremely confident that TBES will SOAR to New Heights under the leadership of Mrs. Dolciotto. She is and has been a driving force behind the scenes for the past 6 years, helping lead our students and school to incredible levels of Success.”
Renouf called his return to Ashton “an incredible opportunity. I am honored and proud to once again join the Ashton family.
I look forward to working with everyone as the school continues to reach for the stars.”
In February, the school district began conducting a site analysis with Toledo Blade faculty and staff, parents and community members to identify the qualities they would like to see in the school’s next principal. For more information about Toledo Blade Elementary School, visit their website at www.sarasotacountyschools.net/schools/toledoblade.
Heron Creek Principal Goes to Taylor Ranch
Dr. William G. Bolander, who has served as Heron Creek Middle School principal since 2008, will be relocating to Taylor Ranch Elementary School in Venice effective July 1. The School Board of Sarasota County has approved the appointment of Michael James as new Heron Creek principal. Bolander will succeed Kelly Ellington, and Sharon Marks currently serves as interim principal.
Under Bolander’s leadership, Heron Creek Middle School has enjoyed several educational accomplishments. The school has been designated an “A” school by the Florida Department of Education and was named the district’s first Model School for Positive Behavior Support by the Florida Positive Behavior Support Project. Heron Creek saw a 40 percent reduction in discipline referrals in 2010-11 compared to the previous school year since the support program has been in place. Heron Creek is also a Community of Caring school, using program tenets that foster character and citizenship development and school attendance.
Bolander said, “Thank you to all the students, parents and staff for making this another very successful year at Heron Creek. We are proud of our award-winning school. Next year will see high tech classrooms of tomorrow in all 8th grade science classes and four rooms teaching advanced math. Even though Heron Creek is getting smaller through a redistricting of the boundary lines with Woodland, we will continue to offer an impressive array of encore selections in technology and the visual and performing arts. This is all possible through the dedication of an outstanding staff. Again, congratulations to the Heron Creek community and welcome to the new principal, Michael James. It has been my privilege to serve as principal of Heron Creek Middle School for four years. While I will miss the students, parents and staff who make the school such a special place, I look forward to becoming part of the Taylor Ranch Elementary School family and continuing Kelly Ellington’s tradition of strong, caring leadership.”
Bolander holds doctorate degrees in Educational Leadership and School Administration and a master’s degree in School Administration and Supervision from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Math Education from the University of Florida in 1975 and began his teaching career that year in Indiana.
For more information on Heron Creek Middle School, visit their website at www.sarasotacoountyschools.net/hcms.