Veteran educator and Key West High School graduate Christina McPherson will be the next Key West High School principal, Schools Superintendent Mark Porter announced on Feb. 19.

McPherson, who is the current principal of Horace O’Bryant School, will take over for retiring KWHS principal, Amber Archer Acevedo, beginning the 2020-21 school year.

“We are excited to have Mrs. McPherson lead KWHS,” Porter said. “Her years of experience and dedication to this school district will continue the tradition of excellence set forth by current principal Acevedo.”

Porter also noted that, while the selection committee had a difficult time choosing from a pool of well-rounded candidates, it was McPherson’s “ability to create a positive school culture, focused on teaching the whole student, that set her apart.”

McPherson is no stranger to Key West High School, having earned the honor of salutatorian in the Class of 1990. After graduating with honors from Florida State University, she returned to Key West High School to teach social studies from 1995-2002. In addition to her classroom duties, McPherson served as student activities director and a teacher leader in several areas. She was also recognized as the school’s Teacher of the Year for the 1997-98 school year.

McPherson served as KWHS’s assistant principal from 2002-2011. She was known for her open door policy for staff and students, and a tireless work ethic that often extended way past the school day.

In addition to her time at KWHS, McPherson spent time as a district administrator on the executive leadership team from 2011-2014.

Having also served as principal of Poinciana Elementary for three years before taking the reins at Horace O’Bryant School in 2016, McPherson has been exposed to every facet of leadership, including curriculum, accountability, administration and finance, said Theresa Axford, the district’s executive director of teaching and learning, who will become interim superintendent next year when Porter’s contract ends. “She is an excellent choice to lead Key West High School.”

McPherson is eager to bring her leadership to her alma mater. In addition to maintaining the high academic standards that have made KWHS an A-rated school, McPherson, whose life motto is “kindness and love for others,” plans to build community relationships and foster an atmosphere where student culture and behavior is reflective of character, honor and values.

“I am truly blessed to have been given this opportunity,” McPherson stated. “I have had the honor of working with fantastic teachers and students that truly care and love what they do for others. The colleagues that I work with love investing in the destiny of others and I share this passion every day. If at the end of the day, you have made life less difficult and more pleasant for another, this is what truly matters.”

— Contributed

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