Reddick Elementary in Wimauma recently welcomed Jennifer Dames as their new principal. Dames’ 20-year career started as a middle school science teacher in Jacksonville and it included stints as an assistant principal at Seminole and Foster Elementary Schools here in Tampa.
“I am excited to be a part of Reddick,” Dames said. “The children here are amazing. Reddick Elementary has some of the kindest students I’ve ever come across. They have hearts of gold. They really value education, and they want to achieve.”
During her first week at Reddick, Dames had the opportunity to be a part of the 94th birthday celebration of Doris Ross Reddick, who is the elementary school’s namesake.
“The celebration took place on my second day at the school,” Dames said. “It was a great honor to be a part of the celebration for Ms. Doris and of the accomplishments she has made. It was an amazing experience. The students performed for her and we had a proclamation where we named her birthday Doris Ross Reddick Day at our school so we could celebrate her birthday and everything she has done.”
Reddick also gave Dames some words of advice on her second day on the job.
“Her words of advice were to always put students first,” Dames said. “She really stood firm on what was right to fight for students and for me to be the same advocate for them. I so appreciated her words and that is exactly what I want to do at our school. I want to put students first and I feel that the students had a firm foundation with the previous administration, but now I want to build off of that. I am so happy to be at Reddick.”
One of the first projects Dames wants to do at Reddick is to get her students’ parents more involved with the school.
“Now that things are getting better with the pandemic and vaccinations are happening, I want to give the parents an opportunity to come back to the school and get more involved,” Dames said. “We are working on putting some events together at Reddick for the parents and students. We feel that this will bring more opportunities for Reddick to be involved with our surrounding community as well.”
Reddick Elementary is located at 325 W. Lake Dr. in Wimauma.