Dave Burgess has been named the new principal at Cape's Patriot Elementary, and he said he could not be more excited.
"I am thrilled," he said. "I just had a great opportunity to meet the staff and some of the kids and I have to tell you they are very patriotic and great citizens. You can tell they take care of their school and each other."
The previous principal, Carol Bromby, has left the school this year after 39-plus years in education, with several hundred people at her resent send-off at Rumrunners.
Burgess started his career, fittingly, as an elementary teacher, in the town of North Manchester, Ind.
"I loved working with kids; the creativity, the energy, enthusiasm and excitement," he said.
Today he has a background of 25 years in education, and is still currently at Roland Park K-8 School for International Studies in Tampa.
"We're still finishing up this week," he said. "It is a candidate school for IB (international Baccalaureate). This is my fourth year there, as principal."
When asked about his philosophy, he said, "Generally that we create a school for children, that every decision we make is in the best interest of the kids. That's from every penny spent to every program created; it's all about creating a winning and successful environment."
He said before he knew about the opportunity at Patriot, he purchased a place in Estero, but the commute won't bother him, as he said this is his ideal position.
He also lived in Fort Myers 18 years prior, and served as principal at Poinciana Elementary School in Collier County for over seven years.
In his spare time, he enjoys sports.
"I love all sports, just about everything," he said. "Some of my favorite teams are the Steelers and the Bears."
He also likes running, biking and lifting weights.
"My family is my priority," he said. "My wife Dee and I have two beautiful kids, twins, graduating high school this year. My daughter Jordan is going on a full ride to Stanford, playing volleyball. Jordan was the Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year.
"My son Nick is also quite a phenomenal volleyball player," he added. "He's made it into the University of Florida's Honors Program and will be playing on the Men's Club Volleyball Team and also being a practice player/manager for the Women's Team."
Of his first meeting with his staff, he added, "The first thing I told them was how thrilled I was to be part of such a phenomenal staff and school, and to have the opportunity to work in an environment where the staff takes pride in their work and also believes in shared leadership."