Derrick McLaughlin may not know the name of his new school yet, but he does know it will take a lot of work and dedication to get it ready to prepare students for life. McLaughlin was recently appointed as principal of a new elementary school in Hillsborough County. The elementary school, known currently as Elementary School C, will open in the 2017-18 school year in the Riverview area.
McLaughlin, who has served as principal at Summerfield Elementary School since 2012, said he is excited for the challenge and the chance to build something from the ground up.
“Beginning something from nothing is an exciting opportunity,” he said. “I look forward to working with the community to start this journey together.”
And although he is ready for a change, he said leaving his Summerfield family will be difficult.
“Leaving my family of nearly a decade will be tough,” he said. “I have deep connections with everyone and they have supported me in so many ways.”
The former math and science teacher said he hopes to foster a philosophy that centers on the belief that every child can learn.
“All children will show success in their lives with strong support from loving dedicated adults,” McLaughlin said. “Students have to have a connection to the adults in their lives.”
Originally from Rhode Island, McLaughlin earned his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Tampa. He received his master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of South Florida.
McLaughlin is married to Lauren and they have two children – their daughter Emerson and son Fisher.