By Jill Fox
After a string of short-lived principals over the past few years, parents have reacted positively with Broward County Public Schools’ appointment of the current interim principal, Arlene Manville, to the role of principal.
“As a parent, I’m ecstatic to learn she is staying. Our children, staff and community need consistency in leadership and I feel she is a great fit for our school,” said Melissa Sackman, mom to Owen, a second grader and Patrick, a kindergartener at Park Trails.
In a letter from Charles McCanna to the Park Trails family, he explained that he no longer possessed the physical attributes to properly conduct all the physical demands of principalship and thought everyone would be better serviced by having a principal who could get around the school more effectively.
“I need to step away from the principal position here at Park Trails because of medical reasons,” said McCanna, who had been the school’s principal for just under two years.
An acting interim principal since the beginning of the school year, Manville, whose appointment became effective on February 21, has held numerous positions in Broward County, most recently as assistant principal at Park Ridge Elementary in Deerfield Beach since 2015.
Manville began teaching in Broward County 20 years ago after previously working for the district as a writing consultant. While teaching, she wrote curriculum and trained staff at a district, state and national level in math and science and was instrumental in the opening of Beachside Montessori, the first K-8 school in Broward County.
So far, in her short time at Park Trails, the new principal has won over the hearts of parents and students at the Parkland elementary school.
Kellie Reda, president of the PTO said that she is extremely excited to work with Manville as they share many of the same visions for where the school needs to be for the future of the students.
After such inconsistent leadership over the past three years, Reda said Manville will be a great asset to Park Trails, providing the stability and continuity parents and students so desperately need.
Engaged to “a wonderful man” for over a year, Manville is the mother of two daughters. Her oldest is an engineer living in California with her husband and two children and her youngest was recently married and attends University of Florida School of Law.
She stressed that education can no longer be a one-size-fits-all model, and that we must meet the needs of all of our students.
One of the first positive changes parents will begin to see will be a shift towards personalized learning and more focus on differentiated instruction.
“Using data and a focus on our students, we will be able to meet all students where they are in order to maximize their learning, encourage them to work to their full potential, and create in them not only a love of learning but also the ability to be creative problem solvers and critical thinkers,” she said.
During the past few years, Manville’s role as intern principal has taken her to many schools in the district, filling in for principals who were out on leave. She explained that while it has been exciting getting to know different communities and students, it will be nice to lay down roots and have an opportunity to see the children grow.
“With everything that has happened in Parkland, this community needs some consistency and a leader that is visible in the school and the community,” said Manville. “I am excited to be here and I look forward to making Park Trails my home.”
Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She is currently a Senior Account Director at Lon Haber & Co., a leading full-service public relations firm. Fox worked at NBC Miami for eight years after graduating from the University of Miami. She lives in Parkland with her husband, Brian and two children.