Principals Named at Three District Schools

New principals for three School District of Palm Beach County schools were announced at Wednesday’s School Board special meeting.

Rachel Capitano was introduced as Principal of Don Estridge High Tech Middle School; Dr. Carl Gibbons was introduced as Principal at Lake Shore Middle School; and Melissa Patterson was introduced as Principal at John I. Leonard High School.

Ms. Capitano has been with the District since 2002, and has served since June 2015 as Principal at Del Prado Elementary School. Prior to leading Del Prado Elementary, she was Principal at Sandpiper Shores Elementary School, and worked as an assistant principal, program planner and teacher. She succeeds Dr. Laurie Riopelle, recently appointed as the District’s Director of Professional Leadership.

“This is a very special moment in my life, and I feel blessed to be the next principal of Don Estridge,” said Ms. Capitano, who helped open Don Estridge High Tech Middle as a language arts teacher and department chairperson. “… It feels even better to return to what I call home.”

Dr. Gibbons been with the District for 20 years, serving as a teacher, assistant principal and summer school principal. He most recently served as Vice Principal at Glades Central Community High School. He succeeds Dr. Anthony Lockhart, recently appointed as the District’s Director of School Transformation and Federal/State Programs.

“I sit before you as a product of Palm Beach County schools, and also as a product of the Glades area,” Dr. Gibbons said. “… I really thank you for the opportunity to be here and to lead Lake Shore.”

Ms. Patterson has been with the District since 2003, and an educator since 1996. She was Principal at Greenacres Elementary School since 2013, and previously served as an Instructional Team Leader, assistant principal and teacher. She succeeds Edward Tierney, who is now Instructional Superintendent – Secondary for the Central Region.

“I want to thank you for the opportunity of trusting me with the leadership of John I. Leonard High School,” Ms. Patterson said. “… I can’t be any prouder to continue to serve this community that makes me feel right at home.”