President

Christine Szymanski’s Message

 

My name is Christine Szymanski and I am the principal of MetroWest Elementary. This year marks my 22nd year with Orange County Public Schools and 4th year as a Principal. Prior to this, I worked as an Assistant Principal at Windy Ridge K-8 and Ocoee Middle School. I am both honored and excited to serve as the President of OCASA for the 2017-2018 school year.

The mission of OCASA is to ensure that state and local policy and rules contribute positively to the education of our children and adults in the public schools of Orange County. To this end, OCASA works to provide a collective voice at both the state and local level. Legislators often do not understand how state policies directly impact our schools and daily operations. In order to provide insight and a personal perspective, an OCASA delegation travels to Tallahassee each year to meet with state representatives. This opportunity to provide feedback to policy makers and advocate for students and teachers is one that OCASA does not take lightly. We work directly with our state organization FASA to ensure administrator voices are heard, as we are critical to providing a quality education to students.

The OCASA 2017-2018 legislative platform consists of three points:

  1. Change the state testing and accountability system.
  • Revise the accountability system using balanced measures
  • Eliminate school grades
  • Reduce testing
  • Reduce mandatory retention
  1. Adjust the implementation of the Class Size Amendment.
  2. Rescind legislation related to teacher evaluation and merit pay.

At the local level, OCASA works for its members in multiple ways. First, the Executive Board coordinates a yearly survey of all Principals and Assistant Principals that is shared directly with our superintendent. I encourage each of you to take the time to complete this survey with fidelity and provide honest feedback to district leaders. We are on the front line of education and our perspective is valued and a unified voice has the power to invoke change. Should you have a concern outside of the survey window, you may contact myself, or any board member during the course of the year to share it. Second, the Executive Board has a direct voice with the superintendent. While we have the opportunity to share our concerns with her regarding district policies and procedures, it has also been her practice to solicit feedback from the Board prior to making certain decisions. Finally, OCASA provides networking opportunities twice a year and a support system for new administrators.

As school administrators, we face new challenges each day and more accountability. I want to thank you for the work that you do each day to support OCPS students. Their success hinges upon your leadership and action and OCASA is here to support you in this endeavor.

Best wishes for a successful 2017-2018 school year!