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Four east Hillsborough schools getting new principals

Students at four east Hillsborough schools stand to be introduced to more than new classes, subject areas and teachers this fall. They also will get a new principal. Learn more about the leaders below:

Carla Bruning

Newsome High

Carla Bruning has done her rounds at Hillsborough County high schools since she joined the district in 1985. A graduate of Robinson High, she first taught science at Gaither and Bloomingdale high schools before moving to leadership positions at Durant and King high schools.

This year, she takes on yet another establishment: Newsome High, where she was named principal this summer.

"Students are students no matter where you go," Bruning said. "We need to provide the best."

From her experiences and her most recent stint as principal at King High, Bruning said she has developed a talent for working with parents to build the community.

"It's a great culture here," she said. "I'm just coming in to be the new head cheerleader for Newsome."

Greg Cannella

McDonald Elementary

For Greg Cannella, becoming a principal means returning to his roots.

The musician-turned-music teacher started his career at McDonald Elementary in 1997, leading music classes for eight years.

"I'm not expecting it to be the same school it was then," Cannella said.

But he's excited to go back.

Cannella, who grew up in Pasco County and attended the University of South Florida, commended McDonald Elementary for making A and B school grades in the past couple of years. He said he hopes to continue that success by building relationships between students, parents and faculty.

Cannella built his skills as an administrator as an assistant principal at Doby Elementary in Apollo Beach, a post he wraps up next week before starting at McDonald Elementary on Aug. 8.

Denise Mobley

Pinecrest Elementary

Denise Mobley earned a promotion to principal at Pinecrest Elementary from her previous position as the school's assistant principal. She has worked for Hillsborough County schools since 1993, when she started as a teacher at Seffner Elementary.

Anthony Montoto

Valrico Elementary

Since his high school days at King playing baseball, Anthony Montoto knew he wanted to be an elementary school principal someday.

When Montoto accepted a job this year as principal of Valrico Elementary, King High baseball coach Jim Macaluso called him at home.

"You told me you were going to do this," Macaluso said to him.

"Yes, sir," Montoto replied.

Montoto worked his way up from a paraprofessional assisting in Hillsborough County classrooms in 2000, to an elementary school teacher, to assistant principal at Trapnell Elementary and then Booker T. Washington Elementary.

He touts B.T. Washington's improvement from a D- and F-rated school to a C-rated school during his two years there. Montoto said he hopes to bring the same team-effort approach to maintaining the high-achievement and family-centric environment at Valrico Elementary.

Reach Stephanie Wang at or (813) 661-2443.

Four east Hillsborough schools getting new principals 07/28/11 [Last modified: Thursday, July 28, 2011 4:31am]
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