As Bradley Finkbiner prepares for a new academic year along with thousands of high school students across Pinellas County, he’s doing so on unfamiliar turf.
The Illinois native won’t be traveling to Osceola High School next week to serve as the school’s assistant principal, a position he held for the past 12 years.
On Monday, Aug. 20, the first day of high school for local students, Finkbiner will begin 2012’s academic year at 7:05 a.m. amidst 1,800 students attending this year as the school’s new principal.
“I am looking forward to developing a culture where students outside of the Largo community apply because of our outstanding programs and for the local Largo community to not look anywhere else but their neighborhood school,” said Finkbiner, 52.
Though he’s new to the high school, Finkbiner has called Florida his home for more than 30 years. Upon growing up in a small farming community in the mideast of the United States, Finkbiner attended Lincoln Trail Community College, where he received an associate’s degree in psychology. Soon after he moved to Florida to attend Eckerd College on a basketball scholarship in 1980.
Finkbiner graduated Eckerd College with a bachelor’s degree in human resources. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in education from the University of South Florida. To top off his personal education, he’s scheduled to graduate from USF with a doctorate degree in education.
Before becoming part of Largo High School’s staff, Finkbiner spent 20 years at Osceola High, 12 of which he served as the school’s assistant principal.
Finkbiner officially began his tenure as Largo High's principal on July 2, as the school’s former principal, Marjorie Sundstrom, took to retirement in June after a four-year term.
He said “the opportunity of the IB and ExCEL programs” and “the opportunity to help Largo High be the number one high school in the state of Florida” are reasons why he decided to accept the position at Largo High what attracted him the most in making his decision.
He added that “working with staff and students to develop and mature an environment of learning” and developing and working with students and teachers are what he is looking forward to this upcoming school year.
Students can expect a slew of school-wide changes occurring this year, including rigor and relevance of curriculum in the classroom, and compliance with being in class every day and on time, high expectations with supports in place to ensure all students achieve them, reading and writing in all classrooms on a daily basis, and the expectation that students can be leaders, Finkbiner said.
He added that parents should expect the same from Largo High this year, in addition to a focus on skills that can be used in post-secondary education.
Though Finkbiner may seem rigid in his expectations, his standards for the school are clear:
“I believe that Largo High is absolutely one of the finest performing schools in the district.”
For more information, visit www.largo-hs.pinellas.k12.fl.us