Ms. Emily Kristansen, Principal(904) 714-4680
Ms. Kristansen began her career in education at Kirby-Smith Middle School as an English/Language Arts teacher. As the daughter of a teacher, Ms. Kristansen always knew she wanted to be an educator. After a few years at Kirby-Smith, Ms. Kristansen wanted a different experience and transferred to Westside High School where she served as an English teacher and Instructional Coach. Ms. Kristansen pursued a Master of Education at Jacksonville University and was selected for the Florida Turnaround Leaders Program. These learning experiences prepared her for principalship and allowed her to put her new skill set to work. She has served as Oceanway Middle School’s principal since July 2016.
Ms. Kristansen firmly believes that the middle years are a critical time in a young person’s development. It is so very important to provide students of this age with a nurturing, accepting, and safe learning environment. The most joyful part of her role as a principal is being in the classroom with students, sitting alongside them and helping them do their absolute best.
Although she grew up in Rochester, New York, Ms. Kristansen has called Jacksonville home since June 2020. She loves the diversity represented in Jacksonville and currently lives in the Riverside area. Her favorite things to do include spending time with her friends and beagle (Gizmo), walking and running along the river, watching baseball, and enjoying the many restaurants throughout the city."I am courageous in my goals and actions needed for school improvement, and strongly believe we reach those goals through an inclusive school culture." - Ms. Kristansen
Mr. Trenton Harris, Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Principal's DesigneeStudent Services - Last Names A-K(904)714-4680, ext. 118
Mr. Trenton E. Harris is a Texas native and began his career as an educator in 2012. Before joining Oceanway’s team, he served as a secondary science teacher at The Bridge to Success Academy. In addition, Mr. Harris also worked with other students from various Duval County Public Schools as a Student Youth Advisor in the after school program at The Bridge of NE Florida. Prior to becoming an Assistant Principal, Mr. Harris served the administrative team at Oceanway School as the Dean of Students for two years.
Mr. Harris attended Prairie View A&M University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and Social Work. He also obtained a Master of Education in Educational Administration from Prairie View A&M University. Mr. Harris began his professional career working in the medical field and transitioned into the oil industry before finding himself grounded in the field of education.
“I always said that I wanted to leave a lasting impression on those that I meet. Being an educator provides me with the opportunity to profoundly impact the lives of individuals. As an educator and an administrator, I not only strive to improve the quality of education that our students receive but I get to positively and directly shape and impact the lives of today’s youth.” - Mr. Harris
Ms. Mary Cooper, Assistant PrincipalStudent Services - Last Names L-K(904) 714-4680, ext. 114
Ms. Cooper began her career in education at Oceanway Middle School in 2015. She was an ESE teacher for three years, then became a dean of students. After completing her Masters in Educational Leadership is starting her second year as Assistant Principal.
Ms. Cooper spent the first part of her adult life working from home, raising her four children. As her children grew up, she loved volunteering in the schools and developed a passion for working with adolescents. As a parent and educator, she knows how important the middle school years are for student’s growth and development. She believes in providing a positive environment to help students become the best version of themselves in and out of the classroom.
Ms. Cooper started working with middle school students in a local private school as she was working on her Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Florida in Exceptional Student Education. After working as an ESE teacher at Oceanway, and being an advocate for students with disabilities, she realized she wanted to be able to impact more lives and went back to school. Ms. Cooper has found great joy in guiding and encouraging students to find their passion and love of learning.
“I grew up in Jacksonville and am committed to helping the students be productive, engaged citizens, dedicated to making our community a positive place to work and live. I’m a life-long learner and take great pride in serving our students, parents and community!” – Ms. Cooper
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