My name is Mrs. Matthews and I am so excited to serve as principal of one of the very best schools in Duval County, Pine Forest School of the Arts! I absolutely love everything about Pine Forest and I am sure you will, too! It’s hard not to smile when you enter the building; the walls are always filled with student artwork and if you walk down the halls, you’ll hear the excitement of students learning in the classrooms.
As a child, I attended Duval County Public Schools and have been employed by the school district for seventeen years. During those years, I worked as a classroom teacher, a school-based Reading Coach, a district-level English Language Arts Specialist, and also an Assistant Principal. I am eager to begin my fourth year as Principal of our amazing school! One of my very favorite memories of my time spent in the wonderful profession of education was having the opportunity to work alongside some of my former teachers when I taught first grade!
Another special thing about me is that I love the arts…ALL of them! My parents enrolled me in dance classes at the age of 6 and dance studios have been a like a second home to me ever since. As I have grown older, I really enjoy Musical Theatre because it incorporates dancing, singing, and acting. Although I have not yet learned to play an instrument, I enjoy spending times in our Strings classroom and listening to our talented Strings students play! I have two daughters whom both share my love of dance. One is fourteen and is entering her 9th grade year. She also loves Visual Arts and Computer Animation. The other daughter just turned 9 and is entering 4th grade this school year. She enjoys being on stage and has recently shown a strong interest in music. When I’m not at school or at some type of extracurricular activity with my girls, I enjoy spending the weekends with my family at our home, taking our boat out and enjoying the beautiful sunshine, or traveling to new places. In addition to my two daughters, I also live with my husband, and our two pets: Chase the Dog and Milo the Cat.
This school year, our school-wide theme is: Espresso Yourself at Pine Forest! (How fun, right?!)
One thing that my faculty knows about me is that when I can't sleep, I'm usually up sending emails or "window" shopping on Amazon. One late night, an intersting book title popped up on my screen so naturally I had to read the description and click "Buy Now". Once the book showed up on my doorstep, I had to begin reading it. I couldn't put it down. I went to school and shared snippets of the book with my teachers and our school-wide theme for the 2021-2022 school year was born. I can't wait to share more with the students and with you, too! It's going to be a LATTE of fun this year!
Should you ever have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me via email or telephone; my contact information is provided below. I also encourage you to LIKE our school's Official Facebook Page (@pineforestschoolofthearts); this page will not only keep you informed, but also allow you to view a "glimpse" of the learning that takes place within the walls of our building each day.
I am looking forward to a wonderful, fun-filled, year full of learning and excitement at Pine Forest School of the Arts...where the Arts and Academics truly do meet Center Stage.
Michelle Matthews, Principal
Phone: (904) 346-5600 X 104