Moton Elementary, one of the lowest performing schools in Hernando County, is getting some help thanks to a new principal.
- Moton Elementary is getting a new principal
- Brent Gaustad has been serving as interim principal
- Moton is one of the lowest performing schools in Hernando
For Brent Gaustad, currently the interim principal at Moton, being present with both students and staff is the key to creating change.
"The changes that these children have made are amazing. Everything is ‘Yes ma'am, yes sir.' Now the lines as you can see are tight, the respect is coming back, the respect for the teachers is coming back," Gaustad said.
Moton Elementary has received a "D" rating from the Florida Department of Education and has had several principals come in and out over the last few years.
Gaustad has had success improving the rating for other schools in the county. Most recently, he served as principal at D.S. Parrott Middle School, raising their grade from a "D" to a "B". He said it's all about setting high expectations.
"We wanted to make sure we had enough systems put in place that they understood and also processes that they could understand. And expectations for the kids was really the most important. Once you get those all in order and in place, they begin to realize this guy is expecting what he expects so we have to do that consistently. That's when change starts," Gaustad explained.
Gaustad said he was close to retiring, but decided to keep going because he says the kids needed him.
"It's my job to get it set, get the processes in so the next principal, they can just move right in, and they just continue doing that same thing," he explained.
Gaustad has been the interim principal at Moton since January. He will officially become principal on July 1.