WEST PALM BEACH – During a Special Meeting on June 6, the School Board approved new principals for JFK Middle School, Cypress Trails Elementary School and Highland Elementary School, while two current principals were approved for District leadership positions.
JFK Middle School
Ricky Clark will be the new principal of JFK Middle in Riviera Beach. Clark has been an assistant principal at John I. Leonard High since 2007, where he oversaw the implementation of the Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) and the Advanced Placement (AP) programs at the school.
Since Clark lead the implementation of AICE at the high school in 2013, the program has flourished from 139 to 1,430 students enrolled in the program. Under his leadership, the number of minorities taking accelerated coursework and exams also increased.
Prior to his leadership role at John I. Leonard High, he was a geography teacher at L.C. Swain Middle and science teacher at H.L. Watkins Middle. He has a Bachelor’s degree in History Education from Florida A&M University and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
Clark replaces the previous principal of JFK Middle, Corey Brooks, who was recently named the new principal of William T. Dwyer High.
Cypress Trails Elementary School
Bruce Saulter was approved as the new principal of Cypress Trails Elementary in Royal Palm Beach. Saulter has been the assistant principal of Seminole Trails Elementary since 2012.
During his time at Seminole Trails Elementary, he created initiatives for family involvement such as new family breakfasts, home learning resources for families and better communication with families through PTO and SAC meetings and social media. He also served as the summer school site administrator at the school and the third grade chairperson at Royal Palm Beach Elementary.
Saulter has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Hanover College and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern. He replaces Shari Bremekamp who is the new principal at Hidden Oaks Elementary.
Highland Elementary School
Elena Villani was selected as the new principal for Highland Elementary, in Lake Worth. Villani has been the assistant principal of academics at Palm Beach Lakes High since 2015. While at the high school, the graduation rate increased by 10.2 percent in 2016 as she developed and monitored the graduation status database and held weekly meetings with the graduation task force to discuss at-risk students. She was also responsible for the $1.3 million dollar budget of the school and co-authored grant proposals and school improvement plants.
Villani has a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a minor in education from Malloy College and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from American Education College. She takes the helm of Highland Elementary that was vacated when principal Eli Morales was approved as the new principal of Okeeheelee Middle.
Elaine Hubbard-Williams has been approved as the new Director of Support Services at the District level. Hubbard-Williams was previously the principal of the Adult Education Center at Riviera Beach Preparatory and Achievement Academy.
During her time at the Adult Education Center, she transformed the program “once deemed a behavioral program” into a successful academic program and encouraged parental involvement and community alliances.
She had previously served as the Assistant Principal of the school, as well as the Roosevelt Full Service Center. In her new role, she will oversee Support Services which helps transition students to the most appropriate school setting to improve academic and social success.
Hubbard-Williams has a Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology from Norfolk State University, a Master’s degree in Communications Disorders from North Carolina Central University, and an Educational Certification in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University.
With the closing of Odyssey Middle, principal Bonnie Fox has been approved for a new position as Principal on Assignment with the District’s Leadership Development department.
Fox joins the team in Leadership Development that provides training and professional development for teacher leaders, learning experiences for assistant principals and specialists to better hone their skills, and also hosts a two-year leadership program to train assistant principals who wish to become principals.