TAMPA, Fla. — If you are going to follow Candice Metcalf around at Blake High School you better have your running shoes on. 

Following her around during the lunch period is filled with mini-encounters.

“No one is going to be in trouble.  Write everything down that happened,” she tells a group of girls visibly upset about something.

“What’s going on with school?  Did you ever talk to mom about it,” she tells another young man sitting at a lunch table.

“My job is to try and intercept some of these little issues that could very easily blow up into something larger,” she tells me on our brisk walk. 

After teaching English for 6 years at Lennard High School Metcalf is now an Assistant Principal for Student Affairs.  She’s also working on her doctorate on the side.

She does keep semi-regular office hours but it’s out here in the middle of students you catch a glimpse of her skills as a communicator.

“A lot of our students might be having issues at home.  They might be having some social problems and they are reacting in the classroom.   Some of that discipline piece is breaking that down and building that relationship trying to get to the route of why they are doing this.”

Relationships are a big deal in any high school.  Principal Jesse Salter says that’s why he hired Candice.

“Trust is always a big issue and for a brand new assistant principal.  Her coming in to build that trust with students and staff is very difficult and time consuming.  She does it so well,” says Mr. Salter.

So I asked Candice which side of teaching does she love the most?  Is it administration?  Is it the interactions?

“Obviously, it the students,” she tells me without hesitation.  “The classroom has it strengths. But it’s the one on one that seems to have the most impact.  It’s always about the students.  That’s the reason we are in education.”

And the reason we love giving out our A+ Teacher awards!