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East County Wednesday, Jun. 23, 2010 5 years ago

Rio named new BRE principal

by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

RIVER CLUB — School may have just ended, but administrator Hayley Rio already can’t wait for the next school year to begin.

After serving as an assistant principal at Mills and Prine Elementary schools, Rio will be taking the helm at Braden River Elementary.

Although she began preparing for her new post June 15, when she learned she’d been named principal, Rio officially takes her new position July 1 — one day before her fourth child, Zoe, is expected to be born.

“I’m really excited,” Rio said. “I think part of it is the energy I’m getting from the staff. It’s contagious. I think we’re all ready to see school start.”

Rio comes to BRE with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in curriculum and staff development from the University of South Florida. She first came to Manatee County to work on the school district’s curriculum team. After a year, she began work as an independent consultant on curriculum and staff development for both Manatee and Sarasota school systems for more than seven years.

“Then, I was ready to get back to that one school family, and that’s when the assistant principal spot at Mills opened up,” Rio said.

After three-and-one-half years, Rio moved to Prine, where she has spent the last two years as assistant principal. The post at Braden River seemed like it would be the perfect fit for Rio as she stepped into her next role.

“I felt like I’d really had the leadership training,” Rio said. “With my background in staff development and knowing the district is wanting principals to be instructional leaders of their schools, not just managers, made me want to take the next step.”

As an administrator, Rio said she loves to bring people to work together toward a common vision and sees her job as one of a servant-leader, where she serves those people who work alongside her and makes sure they have the tools they need to succeed. Ultimately, that’s what will benefit the children, she said.

“I really think we have the best job in the whole world,” Rio said of educators. “We have the potential to have a life-changing impact on kids.”

Rio said she will begin working with Braden River’s staff, students and parents to see what concerns they may have and in what areas they believe the school can improve. Rio is kicking off that effort June 24 with a special meet-and-greet with teachers.

Although Rio is expecting her baby any day now, she said her time off will be minimal.

“Braden River is a pretty awesome school, and to have an opportunity to walk in and make things even better is a unique position to be in,” Rio said.

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

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