Written by Robert "Bobby" Pearce Wednesday, 18 April 2012 12:37
Robert “Bobby” Pearce has announced his candidacy for Superintendent of Wakulla County Schools.He has served students and families in Wakulla County for 23 consecutive years as a dedicated educator, coach, administrator, and volunteer.
“As a Wakulla High School graduate, I have been a part of the successful Wakulla educational system for most of my life," says Pearce. "I believe I have a deep understanding of why we routinely earn the Florida Department of Education designation as an ‘Academically High Performing District’, and a vision that will take us to even deeper levels of success.”
Current Superintendent of Schools David Miller will retire at the end of this year’s term.
Pearce believes that one of his strengths lies in building strong relationships with Wakulla’s students, their families, and community members. Although he is proud of Medart Elementary School earning ten consecutive “A” ratings from FLDOE during his tenure as principal, he states, “Seeing the whole child is important. At Medart, my goal was to create a climate of ‘Know you by name and treat you like family.’ If children feel valued, they can succeed academically.”
After serving at Wakulla High School, Crawfordville Elementary School, Sopchoppy Elementary School and Medart Elementary School, he now works at the District Office as Principal on Special Assignment where he has been able to learn about the intricacies of balancing the needs of a high performing district with the financial constraints that have affected the district, state, and nation. Pearce believes that combining his passion to provide rich educational opportunities with compassion for those who are struggling through the economic downturn will make him an effective leader of Wakulla County public schools.
Pearce believes that one of Wakulla school system’s strengths is its ability to assess what works and then improve upon it. “The Wakulla school system cannot maintain a tradition of excellence without being on the cutting-edge of educational innovation,” he observes. He notes ways in which Wakulla students and lifetime Wakulla educators like himself have demonstrated success so far:
2011 district-wide, 5-year accreditation of all Wakulla County public schools from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. Dr. Golding, chairman of the accreditation committee, stated in her final report that Wakulla was one of the top districts they had seen, commenting, “I would be very happy for my children to go here. You do so many things very, very well.”
An 88% 2011 graduation rate compared to the state’s 80%. Wakulla is #1 of the surrounding counties, including Leon, Gadsden, and Jefferson.
The fourth consecutive “Academically High Performing” designation from FLDOE. Only seven districts have achieved this status for this long.
Eight Career and Technical Education programs (formerly called Vocational) on the WHS campus that include the Medical Academy, Accounting, Carpentry, Culinary Arts, Web Design, Digital Design, TV Production, and the new Engineering Academy for 2012-2013. All programs have industry certifications attached to them so students can graduate ready to work and/or pursue further schooling. Students can also dual enroll at Lively Technical Center for more course offerings.
Advanced Placement course offerings that have grown from 2 classes of 26 students in 2001 to 14 course offerings and 500 student requests for 2012-2013. This international curriculum gives students the opportunity to earn college credits. Open AP access to all students has proven that many can succeed with support from tutorials offered during and after school so that no student is excluded who is willing to do the work.
Pearce also has a vision of supporting innovative ways that will make Wakulla students competitive with any student from any educational system anywhere. Some of those include:
Common Core Standards - Cutting-edge professional development for Wakulla educators as they continue this implementation of requirements for more rigorous national standards.
Fiscal Responsibility – Looking for more ways to use the taxpayers’ money wisely, such as with energy efficiency, without taking away from providing an excellent education.
Gifted Curriculum – Providing teachers at all levels opportunities to take the Gifted Endorsement college courses taught in Wakulla and expanding on the gifted inclusion model that provides rich experiences for all students.
Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) – Supporting students’ first introduction to school as the foundation for learning by providing a research-based curriculum.
States Pearce, “I believe that educators serve the public and have to earn their trust. We have a sacred responsibility to not only educate students, but also to recognize the needs of the whole child when they are under our supervision. Clearly, I care about our children. They are my priority and the reason why I am running for Superintendent.”
Pearce has been married to Jan Pearce for 21 years. She is a Wakulla County kindergarten teacher and also a product of Wakulla County schools. They have two children, both of whom attend Wakulla High School.
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