Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sandalwood Principal: 'Time to Move On'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sandalwood Principal: 'Time to Move On'

Article excerpt

Ronel 'Ron' Poppell has had opportunities to retire in the past

but he was never ready.

Now, after 36 years as an educator and school administrator, he

will do it.

Poppell, principal at Sandalwood High School, will officially

retire April 1. He was named principal of the year for Florida

in 1994-95 and has been Sandalwood's principal since 1994.

He is among 12 Duval County principals and 48 other

administrators who will take advantage of a retirement incentive

program from the school district. Their retirements are

expected to save the district about $1 million this year and

allow a major shifting of administrators back into the schools.

Poppell, 59, grew up in Jacksonville public schools and started

his career in education at Arlington Junior High School as a

physical education teacher.

Not wanting to stay at any one school too long, he also has

worked at Fletcher, Ed White, Forrest and Terry Parker high


"I have a private joke that I should keep Velcro on the back of

all my pictures because I've moved around a lot," he said. "But

this is it. It's time to move on."

Teachers, parents and school officials at Sandalwood say they

will miss Poppel's leadership. Throughout his education career,

he has sprung up as a leader not only in schools but in

organizations such as the Florida Association of School

Administrators, the Florida Principals Association, the Florida

High School Activities Association and the Duval County

Secondary Administration Association.

He also has done some extensive lobbying in the Legislature on

behalf of Duval County schools. On Wednesday, Poppell, despite

his coming retirement, was in Tallahassee, lobbying to get more

money put into the Duval County school system.

Poppell said most of his significant accomplishments have come

from being involved in schools on a state and national level. …

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