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Candidate Name: Kristine Bennett
Mrs. Kristine “Kris” Bennett, a Tampa native, is the proud Principal of Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School, an A grade, high performing charter school in Hillsborough County. Under her leadership, the school has earned eight consecutive A grades and has received the National Blue Ribbon of Excellence Award from the United States Department of Education. The school has been named “One of America’s Most Challenging High Schools” by The Washington Post, one of “America’s Best Charter Schools” by US News and World Report, a “Top Ranked Public High School” by The Tampa Bay Business Journal, and was awarded as non-profit finalist by The Tampa Bay Business Journal.
Prior to serving as principal at Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School, Kris served as a teacher and volleyball and tennis coach at the Academy of the Holy Names, her Alma Mater. She then worked as a teacher, grade level leader, coach, and then Building Administrator at Terrace Community Middle School (TCMS) for ten years. While at TCMS, the school earned consecutive A grades and also earned a National Blue Ribbon of Excellence. She earned her B.A. in Secondary English Education and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida, with certification in ESOL, Gifted and Middle Grades Math.
Kris has over 20 years of experience in the field of education, ten of which were spent as a classroom teacher. Some of her accomplishments include coaching the TCMS Math League to a first place win, being named the 2002 Teacher of the Year at Terrace Community Middle School, being named an “Up and Comer Winner” in 2013 by the Tampa Business Journal for the under 40 years old category, and earning her Education Specialist degree with distinction from Liberty University.
Her vision is to ensure that all students receive a quality public school education and to spread the word among parents and stakeholders about how valuable quality charter education is for children. Her goal is to help young people develop and grow into productive citizens. She models excellence in education herself and is currently pursuing her doctorate in educational leadership at Liberty University. She also stays active by participating in professional organizations such as Phi Delta Kappa and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Kris is past president of Charter School Leaders-FL (CSL), a collaborative organization of charter school principals in Hillsborough County striving to foster quality practices among public non-profit charter schools.
A proud mother of two children, Kris likes attending concerts, camping, and spending time with her family and her best friend and husband, Bryan. In addition, she enjoys running charity 5K races and volunteering with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. She is deeply committed to helping children. This passion was seeded early on when she attended the Academy of the Holy Names, and she served as a high school volunteer at the pediatric ward of Tampa General Hospital. Spending time with children and families going through medical challenges and hardships had a lasting impact on her devotion to children. The opportunity to help children and families in need through the Westchase Charitable Foundation matches exactly what Kris Bennett has dedicated her career to.
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