Caroll Grimando has a new challenge, and it’s twice as large, and right next door.
Grimando, the current principal at Wolf Lake Elementary, is replacing Laura Beusse as principal of Wolf Lake Middle School. Beusse, who was principal at Wolf Lake Middle School since 2012, is taking the reigns as Ocoee High School’s new principal.
However instead of a transfer, Grimando will lead both schools and become a “Master Principal”.
When an Orange County Public School principal is given more than one school, they are called Master Principals. Grimando will be the fourth.
Christine Moore, the OCPS Board Member for District 7 (which includes all of Apopka), explains the relatively new concept.
“Master principals are a solid way for continuity, leadership development and better service to families. Additionally, the two schools under the same principal will provide a more nurturing environment with increased opportunity for collaboration.”
Grimando is eager to begin, and points out the students at WLMS are previous students at Wolf Lake Elementary.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity that has been afforded to me and my mind is reeling with all the wonderful possibilities that exist from creating such a unique partnership. I already know many of the children and families at WLMS and I am thrilled to be able to continue to work with a community that values education and partners with the teachers and administration. I can’t wait to get started!”
Grimando recognizes the challenge of being principal at two large schools. Wolf Lake Elementary is approximately 1,200 students, while WLMS is approximately 1,300. But she feels the assistant principals and staff are groomed and experienced to help her with this challenge.
“I feel I can be effective in a dual principal role because I will be surrounded by very capable and supportive staff members and parents at both schools. We have enjoyed a wonderful history of success at Wolf Lake Elementary and I certainly did not do that alone. I surrounded myself with a dynamic and knowledgeable leadership team, as well as talented and hard-working staff members that helped me carry out my vision. I had parents who supported us and worked with their children to ensure their growth. The previous principals at Wolf Lake Middle have also put effective systems in place and hired a committed and talented staff, so that students continue to flourish into their middle school years. I intend to make the best use of the talent in the staff at both schools, create a successful “merger” in which we collaborate and share resources, and unite toward a common vision of making the “Wolf Schools” the most successful schools in our district. I will have five capable and determined Assistant Principals who will help me promote this vision and I have no doubt that our joint staffs will embrace the partnership and appreciate the “It Takes a Village” mindset. Together, we will be even better!”
Moore is in agreement and applauds the move.
“Caroll Grimando was a fantastic decision. I heartily support her as the superintendent’s choice.”