Pine View School for the Gifted Principal Steven Largo sits in his office, sifting through paperwork. There is a lot of work to be done before he retires June 27 from 40 years of teaching and education.
During Largo’s 25 years at the school, Pine View has grown from 847 students to 2,250 students, and from a staff of 70 to 209. The campus has also grown from 5 acres to 74 acres.
“There is no other school like it in the state, and, really, as far as I have been able to ascertain, it’s the only school of its size that expands so many grades devoted to gifted students in the country,” says Largo.
The 62-year-old principal started his career in Manhattan, N.Y., after he graduated in 1973, from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a degree in biology. He moved in 1974, to Inverness, where he taught middle-school science. Largo worked for the gifted program there for five years, before making his next move in 1979 to Cocoa Beach.
Largo coordinated gifted programs in Fairfax, Va., and Tallahassee, before becoming Pine View’s principal in 1988. The school has undertaken a number of community projects under Largo’s direction, including helping an elementary school in Arcadia that sustained severe damages from Hurricane Charley in 2004.
“Long after we remember what we were taught in the classroom, it’s those sorts of things that stick with us and make us who we are,” says Largo.
Largo says leaving Pine View is bittersweet, and he plans to spend more time with his wife, children and five grandchildren when he retires.