Focused on Flagler Schools

Summer Opportunities Abound

May 20, 2021 Flagler Schools Season 1 Episode 7
Focused on Flagler Schools
Summer Opportunities Abound
Show Notes Transcript

Bobby Bossardet, Executive Director of Leadership Development for Flagler Schools sits down to talk about the transformation from local high school wrestler to Executive Director of Leadership Development for the entire district. Plus, he gives us insight into summer learning opportunities in Flagler Schools. It's the district's largest-ever attempt at bringing more students back into the classroom during June and July.

Jason Wheeler:

Sing along with me "School's out for summer." Or is it? We sit down with someone who has the answer. This is Focused on Flagler Schools and I'm Jason Wheeler, Community Information Specialist with Flagler Schools. We want to share the achievements and challenges facing our students, teachers and staff right here in Flagler County, Florida. So let's dive right in. Joining us for this podcast is Bobby Bossardet, he's the Executive Director of Leadership Development for Flagler Schools. First, thank you for joining us for this podcast. Bobby second...tell us your journey, how you got here from FPC student to right now, the acting principal, it's just it's been a weird journey for you.

Bobby Bossardet:

It's been exciting. Thanks for having me. It has been it has been quite a journey. I am a proud product of our Flagler Schools system. Alumni, proud alumni of FPC class in 1999. Had an opportunity to wrestle in college and the day I graduated, I was awarded an opportunity to teach back at my alma mater and FPC ran a dropout prevention program for several years. Under the leadership of Francis Royals was my mentor teacher, stepped into the head wrestling coaching position also taught PE it started my administrative journey as a dean of students under Miss Lynette Schott and Jacob Oliva worked my way up into an assistant principal of student community agent and then assistant principal of teaching and learning. And I had the opportunity of being the proud principal of Buddy Taylor Middle School. And now I am the interim principal over at FPC and I get to hang out with them during this very challenging year but super proud of them. And excited for the opportunity to be the executive director teaching ...uh Leadership Development for Flagler Schools.

Jason Wheeler:

In that position, what What role do you fill for the district? How do you you see this position as leadership?

Bobby Bossardet:

You know, I feel like I'm a spoke in a wheel. But to me, this is the closest leadership position as far as coaching, I just..I..blessed to have the opportunity to support all of our principals, all of our future leaders and anybody part of our organization, anything that I could do to help support them to be as successful as they could possibly be is, is it's my purpose and something that I'm very passionate about.

Jason Wheeler:

You've been on the campus, you've been on campuses long enough to know that this time of the year late May, it's a struggle to keep everybody focused. And everybody's attention. So do you think this has been tougher this year? Because of all we've experienced these last 18 months?

Bobby Bossardet:

Absolutely. You know, I think there's no doubt this is the most challenging year in our profession and public education. You know, I think that's what separates Flagler from many other districts is, you know, we pride ourselves on our relationships that we have, and the investment and passion that we have for our community. So definitely been a challenging year. But I was just asked the other day, you know, can't wait till we go back to normal. So you know, if we go back to normal shame on us, because so many wonderful things have happened this year, and I had definitely no doubt feel that we're going to come out of this stronger than we went into it.

Jason Wheeler:

You kind of touched upon that. But what has going through the COVID-19 pandemic been like for you personally, what is it taught you about yourself and then about those who you'll work with?

Bobby Bossardet:

Again, I think it just brings it, you know, to your to your main focus on relationships, and, you know, the engagement in your community. I think, you know, when we started this journey, back in March of last year, going into spring break and never coming out of it, you know, really gave us a chance to hone in on on the whole student and what was happening in their home lives and being out in the community and just any type of outreach that we were able to provide, whether it was meals or school supplies or a pep talk, you know, and finding just ways to be able to lift each other up as as you know, it's cliche but as a family, you know, we are we are we are Flagler family. And it's been a whole team approach and really just allowed us the opportunity to walk in some other people's shoes in the organization for a while, or at least get a good taste of how they contribute. Just super proud of Flagler schools and all the efforts that they've put forth to be able to support not only the students of Flagler county but also the staff members.

Jason Wheeler:

It has been fun to watch you in your progression in your career. The last five years I've been at the district and and you see other principals, other administrators picking up some things you do. I know you guys did try doing home visits and and putting signs in yards and stuff for kids before the pandemic started. And I guess keeping that going through this you had no idea what you're doing when you started this up, but how important it is. But it's important for these families, for administrators and teachers to celebrate these kids like this, even if there wasn't a pandemic out there.

Bobby Bossardet:

Absolutely, absolutely no, I think it's it's an investment in your community, I'm a, I'm a flag boy through and through, I've got a lot of pride in this in this community. The school district has help support not only me, but my entire family know where I'd be without it. And who just blessed to have the opportunity to be able to give back to a community that's given us so much. So we've got we've got some some very special people that are part of this organization and Flagler county as a whole. So just to be able to watch everybody contribute to getting all of the residents, through the pandemic is has been pretty impressive.

Jason Wheeler:

I know as we're starting to wrap up this school year, but there is, you know, the summer months coming up ahead, and Flagler Schools is trying something new, because we have to tell us about our summer opportunities, what's in store for the next few months, what the plans are for Flagler Schools.

Bobby Bossardet:

Absolutely, super excited for, you know, again, a whole team approach from our entire organization to be able to contribute to provide the opportunity for all kids grades K through 12. In the past, we were able to have pockets of supports and programs. Specifically for third grade some of our students with disabilities, we've always offered a stem camp and some sort of credit recovery for students at the secondary level. But as we as we've navigated through this year, we know that many of our students and our families have struggled, whether it was through the remote option, or just the strain that the pandemic has put on all of our families. So to be able to provide an opportunity for all the students that may not have been able to Excel to their full potential throughout the year, an opportunity to get re engaged in our schools, do something positive, maybe have a community touch point to it a lot of project based learning, just an opportunity to catch back up on some of the standards that they may have missed to be able to showcase what they're fully capable of doing, to make sure that they're primed and ready to have a very successful year when we come back in August. That's the goal.

Jason Wheeler:

Why this huge because it's a huge lift, why this huge lift, why not just say, Hey, we survived. Let's give everybody a break. And let's roll up our sleeves and try hard in August.

Bobby Bossardet:

I think....I think that's what makes Flagler Flagler County Schools, separate from the rest is, you know, we are very competitive. We know what we're capable of doing this year in this in this county. And if there's any, any time for an opportunity to, to demonstrate that or be able to put a support in place to make somebody rise to their full potential. I think it's been pretty amazing to see every part of this organization step up to the plate to be able to provide this opportunity not only for our students, but even our staff members that have been through a very difficult year to volunteer their summer to put kids in a position where they're poised to have. I would like to think one of the one of the best years that they've had their academic career here coming up in August.

Jason Wheeler:

And following up on that about the teachers and staff, you talk with them a lot, and administrators and such. Are they ready for another let's roll the sleeves up for another five, six weeks after the end of the school year.

Bobby Bossardet:

I hope so, you know, we just put out the hiring piece through HR we posted our positions, I think we had about 50 to 60 teachers immediately apply for some of these positions, trying to offer them an opportunity to do some things outside the box be authentic and creative with the ways they deliver instruction, the ways we are assessing our students try to get that engagement piece back in so had a lot of support from some of our community partners. The Ed Foundation has been instrumental in providing some incentive programs for these teachers. So I know they're coming off a challenging year. But I would like to thank the Flagler County Schools. One thing about us is we are competitive we like to win. So just again, super excited that that many have taken the challenge and and are excited about being back in front of kids and just being able to provide them that opportunity to be successful.

Jason Wheeler:

And there's no mistaking that you you have a coach's mindset you're a coach. That's how you started out and everything. So how is that coach's mindset served you throughout your career? Post coaching, when you finally hung the whistle up, and yet you got down to doing your your second career. How's that served, you got moving forward?

Bobby Bossardet:

You know, I think it's pretty easy. I mean, you got to think what separates good coaches, from your average coaches, you want everybody around you to be as successful as they can be. And you got to take you got to take joy in seeing people reach their full potential. So I try to apply the three same things that many of my fantastic coaches and mentors have instilled in me it's, you know, high expectations, high accountability, but you better be able to provide everybody that you serve the highest level of support possible. So we try to apply that I think throughout our entire organization, so I couldn't be more proud of the people that I get to work with, I grow each and every day and learn from them. So just just grateful for the opportunity.

Jason Wheeler:

And I know you talk a lot about being competitive and winning and such, but what is this year taught you about grace and compassion, because that's not something you usually think of when you think of a top athlete, you want to go out for the kill. So you want that shot, and you want to punch him in the face and whatever it however you want to say it. But but to have that, that soft side and let your guard down and understand, hey, we don't have all the answers. But we'll get through this together.

Bobby Bossardet:

I think that was what made this year so special, you know, not not only our teachers being flexible and demonstrating and showing patience and grace, but I think our students returning that to us as well. When you look across our district, especially in the beginning, you know, our discipline offenses were down, our attendance was up. And I don't think it's because we had kids wearing masks, and they were scared of the pandemic, I think, the community outreach that we have demonstrated and the team approach that has been modeled throughout our community, not just in our school district in Flagler County allowed us a better opportunity to build those relationships. You know, this is a unique year didn't come with instructions, you could be a principal for 30 years. And if you're not in a building this year, I could tell you, you're missing out on what's happening in public education. So your patience and grace has been our motto. I just appreciate everybody in Flagler County for being able to demonstrate it. It's a team approach. This is one community we are a spoke in the wheel as far as public education and just super proud of all the residents of Flagler County and their mission to continue to move forward and bring out the best in everybody.

Jason Wheeler:

Alright, my last two questions...my deep questions I asked everybody who comes on this podcast, the first one is what makes you sad.

Bobby Bossardet:

When people don't, right, reach their full potential. That that, you know, we've got we've got so many talented individuals that live in Flagler County. And you know, before it was the fastest growing county in the nation wasn't a whole lot of opportunities for people to, to be able to accept jobs and raise their family in this in this county. And, you know, being part of this school district, you see a lot, a lot of kids that you can relate to from growing up. And just, you know, it should drive each and every day to provide them and I don't believe anybody deserves anything in life but an opportunity and I'm just very grateful that we've got a lot of people in Flagler county that do anything that they can to provide everybody the opportunity to be the best versions of themselves.

Jason Wheeler:

And finally, what makes you happy?

Bobby Bossardet:

Watching people to be the best versions of themselves. That's that's truly does it does it makes me it makes me happy when when you can support somebody in doing things that they may not have believed that they were able to do. And watching them give back and do that to somebody else. You know, this is this is this is this is my hometown. I don't plan on ever moving. I always tell everybody whether you're gonna graduate or not, you may be my neighbor. I want you to be a good husband, a good father. You know, just a good citizen of Flagler County. So yeah, watching everybody reach their full potential support each other is what makes me happy.

Jason Wheeler:

Bobby Bossardet, stays on point every single time. Thank you so much for the conversation, sir.

Bobby Bossardet:

Thanks, Jason.

Jason Wheeler:

And with that our first season of Focused on Flagler Schools comes to an end. We appreciate everyone listening and downloading our podcast. These last few episodes. We're gonna take a little hiatus for the summer months and then come back stronger and better than ever in August. I hope you have a safe and enjoyable summer. Again, we'll see in a couple months. And we want to thank you for listening to Focused on Flagler Schools, a production of the lagler County School District. ew episodes are released every hursday. If you like what you ear, subscribe, and check out lagler Schools at www.flag erschools.com or on Faceb ok, Twitter and Instagram. We'r there @FlaglerSchools. hanks for listening and remem er, let's keep focused on Flagle Schools.