Laurel Hill principal: emotional health affects academic performance

Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 12:43 PM.

Martello’s experience in elementary, middle school and high school levels, along with her people skills, should make that easy, Jackson has said.

The administrator was a counselor for six years at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota County; served at Bob Sikes Elementary School and Crestview High School each for a year; and was assistant principal at Richbourg Middle and Shoal River. In that time, she helped develop programs that boosted student enthusiasm for literature and separated boys and girls in gender-specific classes to aid language arts and math comprehension. She also helped establish Shoal River’s lauded Mustang Learning Community.

Eye on emotional health

Students’ academic performance raised concerns, Jackson has said. In December, the Florida Department of Education gave Laurel Hill School a C using the state accountability system.

However, the letter grade receives too much focus, Martello, formerly of the grade-A Shoal River Middle, said.

"My focus is that the kids have a great year of achieving and feeling success in whatever area it might be. That's my personal measure of success: if the kids are growing — even if they are growing incrementally. "

Emotional health also plays a role, she said.  

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