By Tamas Mondovics

Each year principals retire, move or earn promotions leaving a vacancy to be filled with transfers or new appointments. 

Superintendent Jeff Eakins recently announced the Hillsborough County School Board’s May 2 approval of principal changes at eight of the District’s schools for the 2017-18 school year.

The changes included the appointment of four new principals and four principal transfers, including former Cahoon Elementary Magnet School principal Joanne Griffiths, who will now lead teachers, students and staff at Cimino Elementary, 4329 Culbreath Rd., in the heart of the Bloomingdale community.

With unquestionable confidence, Griffiths will lead a talented group of teachers and the more than 800 students scheduled to fill the classrooms at Cimino this year.
Originally from Queens, New York, and as is the case with most school administrators, Griffiths began her career in1985 as a teacher before moving to Florida in 1991.

“Moving to the Brandon area was a great decision,” she said, adding, “This is my home now.”

Griffiths became assistant principal in 2002 and has been serving as Cahoon Elementary principal since 2008.

“I am very excited to combine my experience with what has been accomplished here at Cimino,” she said. “I am looking forward to working with everyone to enhance what is already here.”

Griffiths emphasized her goal of identifying some of the instructional priorities, and to “increase student achievement through planning effectively” as the first thing on her to-do-list.

“Ongoing progress monitoring is also important,” she said. “As a successful campus we want to be a significant part of growing in the community.”

While promoting communication as a key to success, Griffiths was pleased to say that her teachers and the entire staff have been working hard to “make sure the campus is ready on the morning of August 10.”

The selection process for principals involves understanding the particular needs of a school and then seeking to find the right match to meet those needs.

Principals are focused on achievement and results, have instructional expertise, have the ability to manage and develop people’s talents, able to build a safe and positive culture, develop collaborative relationships and take a proactive approach to problem solving.

It is safe to say that Griffiths experience, expertise and commitment to her staff and students as well as to live up to her new appointment is both welcomed and much-appreciated.

For more information about Cimino Elementary, please visit

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