Member Spotlight, Camille Pontillo
I consider myself a product of Broward County schools, even though I was born in Bridgeport, Ct. After being “transplanted” to Florida, I attended Pines Middle School and graduated from Miramar High School. At the age of 16 years old, I was the office manager at a Century 21 office. It was an incredible learning experience and was foundational to the business side of who I am today. I attended the University of West Florida as I pursued my Bachelor of Education with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education. After college, I moved back to sunny south Florida where I began my professional career path teaching 3rd grade at Campbell Drive Elementary.
My daughter Maria was born and 17 months later, I was blessed with another beautiful daughter, Gina Rose. Deciding that it would be easier to watch 100 children than just two, I opened a preschool in Ft. Lauderdale. I started it from the ground level--gutting and renovating a business-zoned duplex to transforming it into a childcare facility that was licensed for 100 children. The next eight years allowed me the opportunity to be with my own children as well as work in my career field of education.
I enrolled in the Educational Leadership Masters program at Florida International University and I began teaching kindergarten at Royal Palm Elementary School. Fast forward, and fast it has been, 21 years later and I have been honored with the recognition of the 2014 Principal of the Year for Broward County Public Schools.
As I look back over the past years in the District, I realize it is the combination of the amazing mentors that I have been blessed with weaved into my professional experiences. My career path has taken me through all four corners of this expansive District as a classroom teacher to a teacher's teacher as the Nova Zone Staff Development Coach and then onto administrative opportunities as the Assistant Principal at Sheridan Hills Elementary and Principal at Park Springs, Tedder Elementary, and now Coral Park Elementary. A teacher recently told me, that behind every successful woman is a supportive husband, and for me, this is the truth. My husband, Greg, is truly the man behind the scenes. My two girls are now young successful women--Maria with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and her own fitness business, called Fitness with Maria and Gina, a very successful hairstylist in Cooper City waiting for the birth of my first grand” son”. They all bring such joy to my life.
While my titles may have changed over the years, the one constant that remains through all of my experiences is my care and concern for my family, students, staff, and parents. When things get overwhelming or frustrating or when I just want to laugh, you can find me visiting a kindergarten classroom where the simplicity of life in the eyes of the children grounds me and feeds my soul. I am looking forward to seeing where the next 20 years of my career brings me!