Missy Lennard, a Riverview resident and daughter of former Hillsborough County Superintendent of Schools Earl Lennard, was named principal of the new Apollo Beach pre-K-8 school located in the Waterset community last month.

A familiar name will be taking the helm at the new school opening in Apollo Beach’s Waterset community next fall. Missy Lennard, a Riverview resident and daughter of former Hillsborough County Superintendent of Schools Earl Lennard, was named principal of the new PK-8 school last month.

Missy, who has lived and worked in Southeastern Hillsborough County her whole career, was honored to be chosen to open the new SouthShore school.

“I am thrilled to be returning to South Hillsborough County,” said Missy, who attended Gibsonton Elementary, Eisenhower Middle and East Bay High Schools herself. “I am looking forward to making connections that will support, enhance and engage the community in a variety of ways.”

Missy attended the University of Central Florida for undergrad and the University of South Florida for a master’s degree and postgraduate work and has worked as a teacher, reading specialist, assistant principal and principal at local schools, including Gibsonton and Symmes Elementaries. Most recently, she was the opening principal at Stowers Elementary School in Lithia.

“This is the third school I have been a part of opening as an admin,” she explained. “It has been an extreme honor and privilege to serve the FishHawk families at Stowers. We have built many wonderful traditions together. I am very proud of the Cowboys, but I am thrilled to have the opportunity to take on this new role.”

The yet unnamed Waterset school, which will be home to 1,600 students, is a Hillsborough County International Baccalaureate program magnet that will infuse science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics with an international-minded focus. This is the first magnet elementary school in the SouthShore area and the first pre-K-8 school in Southeastern Hillsborough County.

Students in grades pre-K through eighth can apply to attend the school via the Choice Program through Saturday, December 11.

Missy will continue on at Stowers as principal until February, 2022, when she will move to the new school while making sure there is a smooth transition at both locations.

For more information about the school, which is located at 5995 Covington Gardens Dr., call 272-4692. To learn more about Hillsborough County’s magnet schools, visit www.hillsboroughschools.org/magnet.

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Kate Quesada
Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.