By CRAIG GARRETT
With school back in session, the Arcadian will again profile DeSoto County educators. The first is of Latroi Andrews, the new Dean of Students at Nocatee Elementary School. Ms. Andrews, from Sebring, shares that she is the “noble wife to one remarkable man for over 15 years, James, and the mother to five (yes, five!!) awesome boys.” Ms. Andrews and her family currently serve at Upper Room Church of God, where her husband is senior pastor.
Ms. Andrews received her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Saint Leo University. She is a certified Florida educational leader dedicated to nurturing a lifelong love of knowledge in all students. As a result, Ms. Andrews was named 2015 Teacher of the Year and was a 2017 Black History Month Educator Award nominee. She is excitedly in pursuit of her Doctor of Education in Curriculum Instruction to enhance her educational career. She has a passion for children of all ages, with the belief that everyone can learn!
Question: Dean, what’s that mean?
Latroi Andrews: “The Dean of Students helps reinforce and maintain a caring, organized and safe learning environment while promoting positive behaviors and mitigating problem behaviors.”
Question: Education is changing?
LA: “Education is evolving, yet I believe the safety of students matched with the belief that all students can learn are foundational principles crucial to effective learning.”
Question: The balance between strict discipline and tough love?
LA: “My first principal once told me, ‘Students do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.’ Contrary to popular belief, discipline promotes good human behavior. I believe discipline is vital to a student’s development while love drives the passion and consistency of balance.”
Question: A parent’s role in schools?
LA: “I am blessed to come from a two-parent home where both were visibly involved in my education. Parental involvement promotes learning conversations to continue after school, cultivating a lifelong learning. I am strong believer of the old African proverb, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ As an educational leader, I am an advocate for helping bridge the gap between home and school while nurturing the partnership with parents and other community stakeholders.”
Question: Advice for young educators thinking about administration?
LA: “It is key for young educators thinking about administration to recognize their strengths and wisely use them to enhance the school body. I am excited about the opportunity for professional growth with DeSoto schools, as a smaller school district allows more of a hands-on educational experience. My leadership style stems from my compassion and concern for the success of learners of all ages.”