YULEE, Fla. – As the first day of school in Nassau County approaches, Yulee Middle School administrators, including the new assistant principal, have set a goal of raising the school's letter grade from a B to an A this school year.
On Aug. 12, more than 1,050 students will pour into Yulee Middle School for the first day of classes. This school year, those students can expect to see a new face walking through the courtyard alongside Principal George Raysor.
Coming from a much larger school in Volusia County, Dr. Tara Middleton has taken on the role of assistant principal.
"The experiences in which I have had over the past year have been tremendous. I feel that there are so many things that I can bring from that larger school environment, that more diverse school environment, to Yulee Middle," Middleton told News4Jax on Thursday. "I am very excited to do so."
The principal said, “I feel like we’ll make a dynamic team."
Yulee Middle was one of two Nassau County schools to receive a B grade from the Florida Department of Education in 2018-19. It hasn't been rated an A school since 2014.
"I want to change the perception of the school in the community," Raysor said.
"Striving for excellence, one step at a time" is the school’s motto moving forward.
"Trying to incentivize kids, teaching them what it’s like to be respectful, be safe, be responsible, which would be our three goals this year," Raysor said.
School leaders said there will also be a big focus on student discipline to tackle the tough issues that parents have concerns about, such as vaping and bullying.
"I want to partner with families because we see your students for seven hours a day, and the rest of the day they're with you," Middleton said. "So let’s partner and let’s make sure we are making the right choices and leading and guiding our students toward the right path in life."
Both Middleton and Raysor said they’ll be spending time out of their offices and, instead, inside classrooms, working with teachers and students toward that goal of excellence.