Newly appointed principal Darren Burkett is starting his first year here at Naples High School after former principal, Kevin Saba, left to become an administrative director.
“Yeah I have (seen him around campus),” Naples student Janine Bautista said. “He walks around during lunch.”
He is showing his support for the students and faculty at the school. Burkett wants to get to know the people on campus. To meet new faces, he comes to pep rallies, walks around campus and shows up at various other events. He tries to do what’s good for the school as a whole, but he also pays attention to the students’ individual needs.
“I spend a lot of my time in meeting with people,” Burkett stated. “I just came from a meeting.”
His day mainly consists of meetings as he tries to keep the school’s system running smoothly and efficiently. Burkett wants to make sure Naples High School is a safe and peaceful place for the students, as well as an encouraging and supportive learning environment.
“He’s helping out the students a lot,” Naples student Alyssa Billing commented. “He’s trying to make sure that the people are doing what they’re supposed to.”
Though he has a packed agenda, he makes time for students by stopping in classrooms to make sure everything is on the right track. His goal for the school is to give students the most opportunities he can to help them achieve. Burkett enjoys seeing kids reach their full potential.
“What I found is that I had some talent or some ability to develop programming for students,” Burkett said. “That led to being an assistant principal.”
Programming was one of his first jobs while working in administration. In this capacity, he would develop programs that help students. For example, Burkett created a paid summer internship program and an academic program with tutors to help students after school.
As a teacher, he helped his students, but Burkett determined that he wanted to help improve all areas around school.
Prior to coming to Naples, Burkett was the principal at East Naples Middle School. He has also worked as a high school English teacher and an assistant principal. He has a master’s degree in education and went to school at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts.
“This is my 20th year in education,” Burkett stated. “14 out of those 20 years have been at high school.”
Despite being the new kid on the block, Burkett is in good spirits over the future of Naples High.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm to be at Naples High School,” Burkett said. “Students are very proud of being part of Naples High School and being Golden Eagles.