LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Selenia Quinones, 36, started her second week as school leader for Imagine School on Monday,
She has boxes that remain unpacked, including some still in her car.
Among the items on her checklist is moving her residence from Clermont to Lakewood Ranch in the next month, but she is eager for the start of school Aug. 20.
"I want the kids in here today," she said with a smile.
Her days are already full of meetings with parents and teachers, and she wants to continue the school's steady gains in enrollment, now totaling more than 600.
Quinones is only the second school leader in the history of Imagine School, 10535 Portal Crossing, Lakewood Ranch.
She replaced founding
principal Stephen Sajewski, who resigned June 29.
Quinones, a native of Puerto Rico, is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico, and 14-year veteran of education. She has worked for Imagine Schools for half her career. Most recently, she served as dean of students, and taught physical education and Spanish at the Imagine school in Clermont.
"I love the Lakewood Ranch community. It seems very family oriented," Quinones said.
She wants to showcase the work Imagine's faculty has been doing.
"The school has been doing a great job and will continue to do a great job," Quinones said.
Yet she knows that there are probably things that can be improved at the school, and wants to hear concerns from families and her staff.
"I like to look at the concerns. Those are things that can make us better," she said.
Christine Watson, West Florida Region director of Imagine Schools, said the governing board of the Lakewood Ranch campus is very excited by Quinones' selection as school leader.
And Quinones is excited, too, to be working with "some great families and great kids," Watson said.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee editor, can be contacted at 941-745-7021 or tweet@jajones1