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Desmond Cole

I am a graduate of Florida A & M University. My undergraduate major was History and Geography. I later received my Masters in Educational Leadership. I began my professional journey at James S. Rickards High in the fall of 1991 as a social studies intern. As my internship was concluding, I was immediately offered a teaching job, starting in January of 1992. It was one of the most exciting times of my life, while also being one of the most intimidating. What I remember most during my first few days was the kindness and love my students showed me as a new and very nervous teacher. I believed in them and they knew that I only wanted great things for them. Not only have my travels taken me to Rickards High School, I also worked at Nims Middle School, Bond Elementary School, Second Chance, and Astoria Park Elementary School. I am incredibly fortunate to currently serve the students of Godby High School as principal. I am nearing the conclusion of my 30th year as an educator, all in the Leon County School District. It has been a tremendous blessing to serve at a variety of learning communities throughout our school district. What I recall most, at all of my stops, was the amazing professionals I had the absolute pleasure to have worked with. I learned so much from my colleagues. They have had such a positive impact on my life. Students have also been beyond terrific. It has been fun to watch them grow into adults, many now with families caring for their own children. They share stories of when they were in school and also share some of the wisdom I may have imparted. These are the full-circle moments that mean so much. There have been so many amazing things that have occurred during my tenure. There truly are too many to list. One that gives me a great amount of joy was that I was able to graduate three students three times – Astoria Park Elementary School, R. Frank Nims Middle School, and at Amos P. Godby High School. I was blessed to have had this occur at the 2018 Godby High School Commencement Ceremony. When I made it to that segment of my speech, I was overcome with emotions. Goosebumps engulfed a large segment of my body. I cannot express in mere words how proud I was at the moment. I was able to play a small role in the growth and development of three important phases in their young lives. I find myself making reference to this event quite often.

The field of education has provided me with everything that I have. I feel eternally grateful to the many students, teachers, parents, and administrative colleagues I have met along the way. They have made me the person I am today. Teaching is the gift that truly never stops giving. I am proud to serve this community. I look forward to many more years of dedicated service.    

  • Terry Gallon Assistant Principal, Student Affairs
  • Jennifer Powell Assistant Principal, Curriculum
  • Alex Stemle Assistant Principal, Attendance
  • Rick Davis Dean of Students
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