More than 30 Hillsborough County schools and programs have been approved for principal changes in the coming school year, and among those is Newsome High School. Carla Bruning, Newsome’s principal for the past nine years, will be retiring and passing her position to Katarzyna ‘Katie’ Rocha.
Bruning has been working in the school system for a long time. She taught at Gaither and Bloomingdale, served as an assistant principal at Durant and King, and was the principal at King and Newsome.
Beloved at Newsome by staff and students alike, Bruning was known for walking the halls and interacting with the students, and she said, “to me, that was always the best part of the job.” Her advice to the future Newsome principal is to “Always be in touch with the students.”
Though the pandemic must have created a chaotic end to Bruning’s career, she looks back on her time in the school system with fondness. “I totally enjoyed my career. I got to work with some of the best students in Hillsborough County,” said Bruning.
Rocha has been the assistant principal for curriculum at Newsome since 2018 and worked in the same position at Bloomingdale from 2012 to 2018.
When she found out she would be the new Newsome principal, Bruning said she, “felt this immense sense of honor and humility to have such a unique opportunity to follow in the footsteps of my mentor, Mrs. Bruning.”
Rocha is excited to be able to serve in the FishHawk community.
As the assistant principal for curriculum, Rocha had the opportunity to work closely with leadership teams and faculty and has developed a plan that emphasizes improving the quality of instruction for every Newsome student.
“At Newsome, we are constantly in pursuit of excellence; we strive to grow and evolve as reflective practitioners serving to meet the needs of all our students,” she said.
In addition to the administrative positions changing at Newsome this year, other schools in the area such as Bloomingdale High School, Riverview High School and Armwood High School have had principal changes as well.
More information about Rocha can be found at newsome.mysdhc.org.