THE SEMINOLE NEWSPAPER

NOLE NATION GETS A NEW CHIEF

“With all of the talent we have here, we should dominate in every single metric that we can.”

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NOLE NATION GETS A NEW CHIEF

Dr. Rodriguez works with students in his final days at Rock Lake Middle School.

Dr. Rodriguez works with students in his final days at Rock Lake Middle School.

Photo Contributed

Dr. Rodriguez works with students in his final days at Rock Lake Middle School.

Photo Contributed

Photo Contributed

Dr. Rodriguez works with students in his final days at Rock Lake Middle School.

Serra Sowers, Photography Manager

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If you see a new face at Seminole High School walking around, talking to students, conducting the band, acting out a scene in KWC, taking the first pitch at a baseball game, picking up trash, or making announcements on NDN news, you have met our new principal: Dr. Jordan Rodriguez. The Seminole wants to take this opportunity to welcome and introduce Dr. Rodriguez as he returns to SHS where he previously served as an Assistant Principal for six and a half years.

“This is a homecoming and I’m ready to make a positive impact on our students,” said Rodriguez.

Photo Contributed
Dr. Rodriguez posed for a selfie at a Varsity Baseball game.

Rodriguez is a proud alum of Seminole County Public Schools. After graduating Oviedo High School, he attended the University of Central Florida and earned his Masters in Education. As a college student, Rodriguez remained close to the SCPS community as a substitute teacher and a baseball coach. Some of the relationships established early in his career have come full circle.

Lance Abney, who is now an assistant principal at the Ninth Grade Center, and Kenny Brown inspired me to come into this field because they had so much fun as educators. They were my mentors and now, they are working for me,” said Rodriguez.

As he followed his heart into the field of education, Rodriguez instantly fell in love with his work and has been in public schools ever since. Most recently, Rodriguez served as the principal of Rock Lake Middle School, where he was responsible for about 1,000 students and 90 faculty members.

“I think one of the biggest challenges about being a principal [at Seminole High School] is knowing that your decisions will influence the lives of almost 4,000 students and over 200 staff members. Leaders have to make tough decisions and understand that not everyone will agree,” said Rodriguez. As the “flagship school” of the district, Seminole has a multitude of programs including: PSI High, Aviation, Culinary, and Technical Careers, in addition to the Traditional, IB, and Health Academy diploma pathways.

In regards to new initiatives, Rodriguez wants to improve the school rating and make SHS an enjoyable place for all students, while promoting a unified campus culture.

“I want to create a culture and environment on this campus that students are proud to be a part of, parents want their kids to be a part of, and a destination school for teachers and students. I want us to be so successful that everyone wants to be here. My biggest goal is to make every student feel welcome, feel safe.””

— Dr. Jordan Rodriguez

Among Rodriguez’s top priorities is improving school safety and student wellness. He has already begun taking steps to educate students about substance abuse. Just four days into his new position, Rodriguez invited local law enforcement to present their Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) program to upperclassmen.

“I will attack vaping on this campus. It’s going to hurt too many of our kids,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is also a big believer in communication with students, staff, and families. Social media presence and notifications are being pushed more than ever in the past few weeks as Rodriguez steps in full time on April 8th. Dr. Connie Collins and Dr. Rodriguez have been working together to make the transition as smooth as possible, as Dr. Collins plans to retire at the end of the school year.

“One of my first responsibilities here is to get input on what is great and what can be improved. I’m not coming in here and starting from scratch, I want to see where we can improve,” said Rodriguez.

He also makes it his mission to be visible on campus like a “shark in motion,” as he says. Rodriguez can often be seen at sports games, in classrooms, and off-campus at student events because he is interested in getting to know the students.

“I’m looking forward to being Seminole’s biggest cheerleader. This place is already a great school and I am ready to do whatever I can to enhance its greatness,” said Rodriguez.

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