After serving three years as Elementary Assistant Principal at Pine View, Lisa Wheatley has been selected to be the new principal of Lakeview Elementary School for the coming school year. On May 18, Sarasota County Schools Superintendent, Lori White, and Executive Director, Dr. Laura Kingsley, announced Wheatley’s selection for this position.The selection process consisted of several interviews, concluding with a final decision made by Superintendent White. “Candidates were interviewed by teams of individuals that included teachers and parents from the schools, other principals and district administrators. Each team selected their top three candidates after the interview process. These individuals were interviewed again by district Executive Directors who selected their top two candidates for each school. Finally, I interviewed these candidates to make a final decision,” White said.
Wheatley knew she had a passion for teaching from an early age. “I have wanted to be a teacher since the fourth grade. . . I always loved grading my classmate’s work and would even set up a little classroom for my sister,” Wheatley said.
She went on to attend Auburn University in Alabama and majored in Elementary education. Then she received her Master’s in Educational Leadership at Nova Southeastern University.
Prior to her three years at Pine View, Wheatley was Assistant Principal at Glenallen Elementary in North Port, a Literacy Coach at Heron Creek Middle School and Venice Elementary School, and a second and fifth grade teacher at Taylor Ranch Elementary School.
Throughout her three years as Assistant Principal, Wheatley has worked closely with both the staff and students. “My favorite part [of being Elementary Assistant Principle] would have to be working with the students and teachers. The students come to school ready to learn every day, and the teachers are smart, engaging, and continue to amaze me with the great instruction in their classrooms,” Wheatley said.
While she has enjoyed her time at Pine View, Wheatley is looking forward to the new opportunity that awaits her at Lakeview. She said, “I am excited to get to know the community, students, and teachers and build relationships with them.”
As assistant principal, Wheatley made sure to connect the elementary staff through faculty meetings where teachers would share ideas on what worked and what did not in the classroom. “I’ve noticed the elementary teachers are closer, teachers have become closer due to our faculty meetings,” she said. “It has been great seeing them sharing their techniques with each other and working together.”
On June 1, the High School Executive Director of Sarasota County Schools, Steve Cantees, announced who will be replacing Wheatley. Erin Del Castillo will be moved from Assistant Principal at Riverview High School to the Elementary Assistant Principal at Pine View. Del Castillo will begin her transition to Pine View on July 1.
In order to make the change to a new assistant principal go as smoothly as possible, Wheatley believes communication will be crucial. She said, “I will make sure to communicate with the new assistant principal and explain my responsibilities to make sure it is a smooth transition.”
On July 1, Wheatley will begin her new position at Lakeview. Lakeview is excited to welcome Wheatley as their new principal. Lakeview Elementary Guidance Counselor, Lauren Piatt, said, “I am excited to work with Mrs. Wheatley and to see how she will make her mark on Lakeview Elementary. I hear great things about her and am looking forward to seeing her in action.”
Superintendent White believes Lakeview Elementary is in good hands with Wheatley as the Principal. “Mrs. Wheatley brings a wealth of experience to her role as principal. She has been an outstanding teacher (at the elementary and middle school level), a literacy coach, a data coach, an administrative intern and an Assistant Principal. She brings great knowledge and skills to the Lakeview School community,” White said.
Pine View will miss having Wheatley as the Elementary Assistant Principal and what she has done for students, teachers and the school. Second grade teacher Kelly Cookerly said, “Mrs. Wheatley understands the giftedness of each and every child, not just academically but for the total person they can become.”
Covert said, “We will certainly miss [Mrs. Wheatley], and appreciate everything that she has done for our students and school over the last few years…”