BY JAMES HARPER
Betty Powers, the former principal at Turie T. Small Elementary, has been chosen as the new principal of the Basilica School of St. Paul in Daytona Beach.
At the end of this school year, Powers will replace Yvonne Toro, who served for five years. Toro has taken an administrative position within the Catholic schools of the Diocese of Orlando.
Powers will be the first Black principal at the Catholic school, which was founded in Daytona Beach in 1925. She served as principal for 16 years at Turie T. Small before retiring. She was with the public school system for 38 years.
Powers said her goal at St. Paul will be to prepare students to meet the growing and challenging demands of the 21st century.
“Most importantly, it is to ensure Christian leadership according to Diocesan and local school policies, rules and regulations,” she said.
For the past two years, Powers has been serving at St. Paul’s as a tutor and substitute teacher. She has been a member of the Catholic church for 47 years.
Powers said she is honored to be the first Black principal at the school.
“In today’s society, many school districts are experiencing rapid growth in the number of diverse students. I am committed to being an exemplary role model for each student at the Basilica School of St. Paul,” Powers stated.
The school serves more than 200 students from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade.
Powers expects an easy transition from being a principal at a public school to a private school.
“I expect it not to be different that much at all because taking care of kids in any setting is the epitome of true education. The Basilica School of St. Paul is a faith- based learning community and, according to the school’s mission statement, “each student is a unique child of God where cultural diversity is celebrated and where the faith community nurtures young minds and hearts,” she added.
Powers said she came out of retirement because she “felt a need to belong.”
“I have a deep need to feel that my life has meaning – that I’m making a difference. I believe this opportunity will allow me to make a difference with ultimately ensuring success for each student,” said Powers, who also is active in the Daytona Beach community.
For more information on the Basilica School of St. Paul’s, call 386-252-7915.