5 questions with Atlantic Community High School Principal Tara Dellegrotti-Ocampo

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1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you worked to become principal of Atlantic.
I grew up in Pennsylvania with my mother, father, and my two sisters. I have one older sister and one younger. My mother is a Dental Hygienist and my father is a business owner. My older sister is an accountant and owns her own business and my younger sister is a pharmacist. All my family still resides in Pennsylvania. My older sister lives in Florida part-time throughout the year. We are a very close Italian family and talk just about every day! Family is very important to me. I was fortunate to grow-up in a very supportive environment where the expectation from my parents was all three girls will attend either a two or four year college and earn a degree. I always wanted to be a teacher. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and began teaching first grade in Palm Beach County. I then taught at the Middle School level and while doing that, earned my Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. I transitioned at the middle school level as an Assistant Principal for several years eventually having the opportunity to work at the high school level as an Assistant Principal. From there I was blessed to become a Principal at Everglades Elementary School for several years. I worked at all three levels in an administrative capacity, however; my love is high school. I am very honored and proud to the Principal of Atlantic Community High School! I love my job and I love my kids!
2. What are some new, exciting things happening at Atlantic this upcoming school year?
This year is a really exciting year for our ATL Eagles! We have expanded our Medical Program and are beginning a Culinary Program! Both programs will provide our students more access to rigorous coursework increasing our industry certifications and acceleration. The most exciting part is working in and around our Delray Beach community through both programs to provide students on the job training. We are beginning our work this year with Delray Student’s First. Partnering with Mr. Marc Sauer will provide after school tutorials for both ACT/SAT right here on our campus. We are very excited to be afforded this amazing opportunity and are looking forward to growing our partnership for years to come.
3. What is the most rewarding part of being a principal?
There are many rewarding moments about being a Principal. One of the most rewarding moments is hearing your students’ names called at graduation and watching them walk across the stage! It’s an exciting time for parents and to hear the claps and see their tears of joy reminds me of why I do the job I do.
4. What is the most challenging part of your job?
There are many challenging moments and I would say the most challenging for me is knowing at the end of the day not everyone all the time will be 100% percent happy with your decisions. As long as I know it is in the best interest of my students I can sleep at night.
5. What did you spend your summer doing? How do you prepare to get back in the school mindset?
My summer was great! I took some time and spent it with family in Pennsylvania. I believe balance in life is important and I remind my staff of this all the time. Getting back to work motivated and excited for the upcoming school year! My Administrative team and I worked on planning our goals and initiatives developed around our District’s Strategic Plan. We are looking forward to a productive year helping all our students reach their goals. Our Eagles Excel Every Day!