Tricia Allen was 4 years old when she saw Pine View’s old campus across from Alta Vista Elementary, the school she attended in 1974. Recalling a sense of awe and admiration for Pine View at that young age, she now has had the opportunity to work at the school not once but twice. Pine View extends its welcome to former sixth- and seventh-grade Assistant Principal Allen who now holds a new county-wide position of Assistant Principal of Curriculum (APC) for grades two through 12.
Sarasota County developed the position of APC at each of the high schools in the district to have an individual focus primarily on the curriculum and its applications in the classroom. However, instead of just observing high school students, Allen works with elementary and middle school students as well.
To qualify for the position of APC, a potential candidate must have a Master’s degree, a certification of leadership, and a minimum of three years of teaching experience, preferably with high school administration.
After applying for the position, Allen was assigned to Pine View and is delighted to be back on campus. She is excited about learning more about the curriculum from the wide range of grades she has to observe. “I love getting to see all the grades. I love that. Before, I enjoyed my job [at Pine View] very, very much, but I saw sixth- and seventh-graders almost primarily, so I felt a little disjointed,” she said. “Now, I get to see how the whole picture fits together, and it’s so amazing.”
As APC, Allen gathers and analyzes data, forming the school development plan; this plan includes strong points and areas that need work for every subject area and every grade level at Pine View. Additionally, Allen also collects behavioral and attendance data, which helps her develop professional developments for the staff based on needs.
Allen also visits classrooms frequently to ensure that the teachers are adhering to the guidelines of the curriculum. “When I go to classrooms, normally I stay a few minutes, five minutes, ten minutes, a whole period — it just depends,” she said. “Then, what I do is that I get an idea of what it is we need to work on as a school, things that are district or school priorities, get a flavor of how that seems to be going within the school, and then try to do things to develop professional development in order to address things that need addressing.”
Allen hopes to accomplish the task of bringing the best out of Pine View. “When you look at Pine View’s data, almost everything is at a 98, 99 or 100 percent proficiency. My goal is to look and see what we could do to become number one in the United States. Why couldn’t we be?” she said. “[I think about] what sort of small tweaks and changes could there be that maybe I could influence. I think our teachers do the most amazing job here. They work so hard, prepare incredibly challenging lessons, and pour their hearts into this place. So, I am just excited about getting to work with them to do small things.”
While visiting classrooms, Allen enjoys how students are always willing to learn. “I love how kids love to learn. I went into a classroom where a teacher handed out a list of all the prime numbers, and the kids were saying, ‘Oh my god, this is so neat’ and I thought ‘Oh, my heart.’ You know that’s amazing. It’s just exciting to see kids excited about learning. I love it here,” she said.