Meet Jennifer McGreevy, Heron Heights Elementary’s New Principal
Principal Jennifer McGreevy. {courtesy}

By Bryan Boggiano

Jennifer McGreevy welcomes students, families, and staff at Heron Heights Elementary School as its newest principal.

Ahead of the first day of school, Parkland Talk sat down with McGreevy to discuss her goals, leadership style, experience, and excitement as she steps into her new role as principal of Heron Heights. 

A New York native, McGreevy moved to Florida after graduation, immediately finding work at Tedder Elementary. She was a second and fourth-grade teacher and ESOL specialist in her eight years there. 

She has since served as a math coach at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School, coached teachers and trained administrators at the district level, filled the role as a dual assistant principal at Gator Run and Fox Trail elementary schools, and served as the sole assistant principal at McNab Elementary.

Holding a variety of roles throughout the county, McGreevy said, made her aware of the different issues educators and students face. She said this was especially the case during COVID.

“As an educator, as a leader, you have to be willing to change at the drop of a hat,” she said.

McGreevy said it is also important for her values to guide her worldview and decisions. She defines these as open and honest communication, relationship building and maintenance, teamwork, and family. 

For her, this is why explaining all of her decisions fully is important as a leader. 

Knowing that students and staff spend more time in school than with their families, McGreevy cherishes those bonds.

McGreevy said she is in the same boat since she spends more time at school than with her three children, ages six, four, and ten months.

“Even though I’m your boss, I want you to feel comfortable enough to come to me with an issue so I can help you solve it,” she said. 

On her students, she said, “It’s my role as an educator to keep them safe and not only come here to learn, but to be safe, to feel loved, be happy, [and] have fun.”

McGreevy also spoke on the importance of inclusivity for all her students, staff, and families. This can be as simple as knowing a fact about every student and respecting everybody’s differences.

“As the leader of an elementary school, especially anyone who walks in that door, we are made to love and to nurture and to teach,” she said. 

She also spoke about the importance of “teaching to the whole child” to learn more about them and to identify the most effective teaching methods. She said this is not only academic learning but also social and emotional growth. 

McGreevy also said it is important for administrators to empathize and not be far removed from the issues teachers face in the classroom. For example, she emphasized the importance of letting teachers in early to set up their classrooms and devise lesson plans. 

“I want to be in the classrooms, I want to know what’s going on, I want to not only have relationships with the teachers, but I need to have relationships with the kids,” McGreevy said.

She also discussed the possibility of establishing a “sister schools” initiative, where Heron Heights would partner with another school in the county that is socioeconomically underprivileged. McGreevy said she would consider this because she wants to help others.

“You see these communities, and the parents are so hard-working, but they don’t have the luxuries that we have out here,” she said.

On the Heron Heights community, McGreevy wants to keep the school moving in the right direction, build on learning progress, see where her expertise can enhance the school, and create more student leadership opportunities.

So far, McGreevy said she has been welcomed in with open arms. This includes the city commission, various school resource officers, and city principals. For McGreevy, it “feels like home.”

McGreevy knows she has big shoes to fill at Heron Heights, but she says the community has welcomed her so far, and her confidence in her skills prepares her to do the job successfully. 

“I’m excited to work with the community, build relationships, and get to know the kids,” she said. “…I want to make it the best school that my own children can be at and the best school in Broward County.”

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Author Profile

Bryan Boggiano
Bryan Boggiano
A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master's. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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