After 11 years with Michael Vigue at the helm, Jennifer Gil has taken command as Boca Ciega High School’s new principal beginning with the 2021-22 school year.
For both of these career educators, it will be a step up. Vigue moves on to be Pinellas County’s Area 4 Superintendent, serving to support the leadership, instruction, operations of 25 schools in central to southeast Pinellas County. He’ll go from overseeing Bogie’s day-to-day, to supporting 15 elementary schools, two special education centers, four middle schools and four high schools.
“Safe to assume I thoroughly enjoyed my time guiding the pirate ship,” Vigue wrote when asked to list some of his fondest memories of his time at Boca Ciega. “Way too many to mention succinctly, but here are just a few: incredibly dedicated staff, positively involved parents, contributing community/alumni groups, students who care for each other/their school community/and their future goals, all 11 graduation classes are special and unique, increase of academic expectations/rigorous coursework enrollment, increase of graduation rate, AVID National Demonstration School status earned in 2017, and daily positive/supportive interactions with students.”
Gil arrives at Boca Ciega after two years as Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction at Hollins High School. Before Hollins, she worked a year as Assistant Principal of Athletics and as Assistant Principal of Facilities for six years at Clearwater High School.
“What most excites me about coming aboard the pirate ship is becoming part of a team that is cohesive, caring and dedicated,” Gil said. “Under the leadership of my predecessor, Mr. Michael Vigue, Boca Ciega High School has accomplished so much. I look forward to building upon the strong foundation that was established at our school, and helping Boca Ciega High School continue to evolve into a flagship school in the district.”
Gil also noted Bogie’s status as an AVID National Demonstration Site, an in-school academic support program for grades seven through 12 to prepare students for college. Its instructional strategies are infused school-wide into all content areas, and Gil believes this has contributed to student learning gains and success in rigorous courses such as Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment.
“Recently, we implemented the Pre-AP program,” Gil adds, “and I’m looking forward to seeing how the framework and coursework lead to increased opportunities for all students.”
Gil is quick to mention that within her first two weeks being on campus, meeting faculty and staff, she could see its people were the school’s primary strength. And while she dreams big about the future of Bogie under her stewardship, she notes all the positives the school already has going for it.
“I envision Boca Ciega High School to be known as a school where 100% of students [who] graduate [are] college- and career-ready,” she said, “[a school] with robust and highly successful academic and non-academic programming. I would like it to be a school where students will look back and call Boca Ciega High School ‘home’ because of the positive culture and climate of our beautiful campus.”
Both Gil and Vigue refer to Bogie as THE Boca Ciega High School. But why? Principal Gil broke it down for us.
“The ‘The’ was added in 2011 by then principal Mr. Vigue and assistant principal Mr. Solomon Lowery. At the time, the School Within a School Fundamental program was added and Mr. Vigue was working hard to implement initiatives to improve student achievement and the image of the school,” she said. “It was a rebranding of sorts. We are THE Boca Ciega High School, because we are THE best high school.”