Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Apollo Beach Elementary welcomes new principal

APOLLO BEACH — Apollo Beach Elementary School welcomed Jaime Gerding as its new principal on Monday.

Gerding replaces J. Thomas Roth, who held the position for five years. Roth will continue as principal at Reddick Elementary, which opens this fall in Wimauma.

Gerding, who grew up in the Tampa area, graduated from Chamberlain High School and the University of South Florida and earned her master's degree from Saint Leo University. Gerding started her career at Apollo Beach Elementary as an intern and later taught second and fifth grades before spending five years as assistant principal.

"The No. 1 draw for me (at Apollo Beach Elementary) is the family feel. Everyone is truly committed," Gerding said. "There's a bond between parents, staff and me. When I come into work, I know I have support from everyone and that's amazing."

Beginning this fall, Apollo Beach Elementary will be one of five schools participating in the new Model Schools Coaching Project. The plan: Foster collaboration among teachers and staff by providing a framework for teachers to examine their own classroom practice and improve instructional strategies. Teachers will invite other teachers into their classrooms to observe specific strategies or practices and get immediate feedback.

"Teaching can be very isolating if you try to do it all yourself," she said. "By developing a coaching culture between teachers, staff and parents, we will have the ability for a caring and trusting relationship to grow."

The coaching project stresses staying connected with students and parents, being positive and addressing every student's needs.

"Teachers can talk to me in amazing details about a child's progress and have a plan to help them succeed," she said. "It's not just a 10-question worksheet on a child's progress they have to answer and turn in."

Gerding also plans to continue training teachers at workshops throughout the county.

"Unless I understand what I am asking teachers to do, I won't know how to handle that bump in the road they may be facing," she said.

Gerding enters her new job with a $4.3-million renovation going on until December.

It was no surprise she would get the position.

"Her style and the positive energy around her is contagious. I feel it," said Pat Lee, secretary for Roth and now Gerding. "She's a wonderful brain- stormer and she's structured and organized. I like that."

Guidance counselor Valerie Dixon is looking forward to working with Gerding.

"She's there for me whenever I need her, even if it's a menial task," said Dixon. "We are sad to see Mr. Roth go, but I know he will be a good addition to Reddick. "(Gerding and Roth) had a good relationship that made it pleasant to work for them."

Among the issues that Gerding will need to address, Dixon said, is tardiness by students who walk to school. Some kids take their proximity for granted and assume they have plenty of time to get to school, she said.

Apollo Beach Elementary welcomes new principal 04/24/08 [Last modified: Thursday, April 24, 2008 4:36am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.


    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) takes the field to start the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  2. GOP's new repeal bill would likely leave millions more uninsured, analyses suggest


    WASHINGTON — The latest Republican bid to roll back the Affordable Care Act would likely leave millions of currently insured Americans without health coverage in the coming decades, and strip benefits and protections from millions more, a growing number of independent studies suggest.

    Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump talks to reporters about the Graham-Cassidy health care bill during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. [Evan Vucci | Associated Press]
  3. Mueller casts broad net in requesting extensive records from Trump White House


    WASHINGTON — The special counsel investigating Russian election meddling has requested extensive records and email correspondence from the White House, covering the president's private discussions about firing his FBI director and his response to news that the then-national security adviser was under …

    In a photograph provided by the Russian foreign ministry, President Donald Trump meets with Sergei Lavrov, left, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, May 10, 2017. Special counsel Robert Mueller is interested in this meeting, where Trump said dismissing FBI Director James Comey had relieved "great pressure" on him, the New York Times reported on Sept. 20. [Russian Foreign Ministry via  New York Times]
  4. 'We will find our island destroyed': Hurricane Maria demolishes Puerto Rico


    SAN JUAN — Sleepless Puerto Ricans awoke Wednesday knowing to expect a thrashing from the most ferocious storm to strike the island in at least 85 years. They met nightfall confronting the ruin Hurricane Maria left behind: engorged rivers, blown-out windows, sheared roofs, toppled trees and an obliterated electric …

    Rescue vehicles from the Emergency Management Agency stand trapped under an awning during the impact of Hurricane Maria, after the storm  hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Maria has lost its major hurricane status, after raking Puerto Rico. But forecasters say some strengthening is in the forecast and Maria could again become a major hurricane by Thursday. [Carlos Giusti | Associated Press]
  5. Obamacare repeal bill offers flexibility and uncertainty


    The latest Republican proposal to undo the Affordable Care Act would grant states much greater flexibility and all but guarantee much greater uncertainty for tens of millions of people.