Principal's Message

  • Principal

    Mrs. Cormic Priester

    Mother, Wife, Sister, and Proud School Principal

    Dear Rocket Families,

    Welcome to Remarkable Rock Island! I am your proud principal. As I begin my seventh school year as Principal of Rock Island Elementary (RIE) School, I am energized and deeply committed to making a positive difference in the lives of children. Our Rock Island community aims to accomplish this by setting high academic expectations for all children, while providing supportive systems to ensure the needs of scholars are met. As a proud product of 33311, I see myself in each scholar and I commit the work at Rock Island to specifically develop the promising futures of those that our “Rock” family serves daily.

    By setting high expectations for scholars, increasing parent involvement, and engaging the community, it is my goal to continue the progress made over the years. Rock Island is a cornerstone of the community and has had a positive impact on the lives of scholars for more than 65 years.

    Serving the community, while ensuring all scholars receive a first-class education is a priority for me. Our school provides a safe, secure, and inviting environment to all stakeholders. I find that my role as your proud principal gives me an opportunity to advance the legacy of Rock Island as a premiere school where children and families are first. Rock Island is home to the "Rockets". Rockets accelerate in an upward motion and defeat the laws of gravity to blaze into the galaxy and ultimately reach the stars. My belief is that our faculty and staff are the scientists that contribute to a successful lift off for scholars to reach their goals and dreams. 

    Thirteen years ago, I began my career as an administrator and I take great pride in my ability to establish positive relationships with all stakeholders, especially our scholars. My years of experience began as a classroom teacher, which led to my opportunity to serve as a behavior specialist, literacy coach and ultimately an administrator. My experiences help me make informative decisions that are in the best interest of scholars and families.  It is my pleasure to return to my neighborhood as an educator.

    I am a daughter of 33311 and a proud alumna of Dillard High School, Bethune-Cookman University, and Florida Atlantic University. As a proud product of the Dillard community, I am pleased to serve as a positive role model to scholars. My educational philosophy is grounded in the belief that every scholar can learn and succeed if they receive consistent and positive support from a village of positive mentors in their life.

    My family is deeply rooted in 33311. As a wife, and a mother to two young men, that are also products of Broward County Public Schools, I make every decision about your children, with my children in mind. I have an open-door policy and I am highly visible on campus for all that visit. You will see me on campus greeting scholars, visitors, and parents. My favorite part of the day is when our scholars arrive at school. Mrs. Ballard, Assistant Principal and I take great pride in greeting scholars in the morning to prepare them for a positive and productive day.

    I respect the input and perspectives of all stakeholders to improve the learning experiences that our scholars receive. I look forward to opening our doors to all members of the Rock Island Family as we prepare for the 2023-2024 school year.

    Each year, I always share our latest accomplishments. This year is no different. I am pleased to announce that our scholars excelled on the 2022-2023 Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (F.A.S.T). According to the school grade calculation formula for the State of Florida, this school year is considered a baseline year for school grade calculations. As a result, our school is awaiting the informational grade calculation. Overall, forty-three (43%) of scholars were proficient on the 2022-2023 F.A.S.T English Language Arts and F.A.S.T Mathematics. I am thrilled to announce that Science is at the forefront of science and inquiry-based instruction. Fifty-three (53%) of our fifth-grade scholars scored a level 3 or higher on the 2022-2023 NGSSS (Next Generation Sunshine State Standards) Science. During the 2021-2022 school year, we were 5 percentage points from a "B". As we move forward, I am confident that we will continue to make significant progress and meet our goals. Here are a few more of our accomplishments to celebrate and share with you:

    1. Our 5th grade reading scores were among the highest in the state, district, and region. Fifty percent of our scholars were proficient on the 2022-2023 F.A.S.T.

    2. Science scores in fifth grade improved by 30 percentage points. Any increase of 3 percentage points or higher is considered significant.

    3. A “High Achiever” class is present on all grade levels and our gifted and talented student program has grown significantly. I am most proud of the work that our scholars do as they work towards academic excellence.

    4. In an effort to maintain the momentum of our parent-teacher-student relationships a few scholars have looped with their current teacher. The looping concept began under my tenure at Rock Island, although this practice is not new, it has shown to be quite successful. Looping is when a teacher moves up with his/her core class and remains as their teacher for the next school year. Many of our scholars that loop with their teacher(s) have made significant gains as a result.

    5. We provide resources to our school community through our school-based School Social Worker and Community Liaison, which allows us to provide wrap around services to families.

    6. We strive to meet the needs of our families and provide first-class customer service to our parents and children. My door is always open, and I welcome parental input and participation.

    7. We will continue to provide intensive reading interventions and/or enrichment to all scholars in creative and efficient ways through prove research-based strategies. Data collected during that period is used to help scholar(s) meet his/her full potential.

    8. Our School-Wide Positive Behavior Plan is recognized by the State of Florida as a Gold rated plan, which also means that our practices are exemplary. We provide ample opportunities for our scholars to earn recognition through positive reinforcement. As a school-wide Class Dojo school and through the implementation of the morning meeting concept, our positive behavior plan is

    amongst the best in Florida. We always celebrate our scholars through recognition awards and celebratory events.

    9. We offer a first-class art, music, physical education, and social emotional learning lab to our scholars. Music has returned to Rock Island this year. I look forward to how our new music program will enrich our scholar's experience.

    10. Our school adopted the “House” system made famous by The Ron Clark Academy. Last year was the initial implementation of the system. We are moving full speed ahead with aspects of the system that we found to be impactful, such as house meetings and integrating the system with our 4 Core Values found in our Positive Behavior Plan.

    As your principal, I consider guiding scholars to achieve their ultimate level of success an honor. We will “Blast Off to Proficiency and Beyond” once again!

     

    Yours in Education,

     

    Mrs. Cormic Priester

    Proud Principal of Remarkable Rock Island Elementary School