Senate District 6 Unsung Hero
Florin High School Principal, Don Ross
Florin High School was recognized as one of the Top Schools in the Nation and received Silver Medal Recognition from US News and World Report. Principal Don Ross attributes much of their success and recognition to the commitment the entire school has made to preparing students for college and career. He and the dedicated staff at Florin High School expect each of the 1,500 students to hold themselves to the high standards of the school and remain responsible, respectful and resilient. At the same time, he is fiercely protective of each the students as demonstrated when the school was thrust into the media spotlight earlier this year.
Q & A with Principal Don Ross
Tell us a little about yourself?
I have lived in the Elk Grove and Citrus Height area since I was in High School. I have a son, age 21 yrs and an 18 yr old daughter, and we also have a Pug and a Weimaraner.
What issues are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about helping students and families understand that education is the gateway for a student's future. I love helping them set up career pathways. I tell them not to let their circumstances define them. I tell them to stay true to themselves and their plan.
What inspires your efforts? ?
When I can see the change in a student's life through educational opportunity, I know I'm on the right path. A lot of our kids don't normally have the opportunity to travel, so we take groups. Students in our academies and career pathways get to travel to places like Washington DC for the FFA Convention, the California Supreme Court, and various colleges around the state. These trips can literally be a life changing event for our students.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Seeing a 12% increase in the number of students participating in College Prep program (now 56% of students @ Florin are eligible to attend a CSU or UC).
What's the best part of your workday?
Every day holds new opportunities and challenges. I really enjoy spending time and investing in students and staff. I'm proud of our school.
What is the number one thing you would want people to know about Florin High?
It's a great place to learn and explore life and offers opportunities for a bright future and we have a great staff. Four of our teachers have been nominated as "Teacher of the Year" and one was a National finalist (he was awarded that state title in 2012-2013 academic year).
What have you struggled most with in your current position?
Trying to change the mindset success of our students to a path of success.
What kind of lessons do you work to instill in your own kids?
I always tried to teach them the "golden rule" and to be kind. Also, the need to work hard to accomplish their goals in life.
If there is one problem in our community that you wish you could fix, what would it be?
Closing the education gaps that are present in some of our local communities.
How do you decompress?
I participate in charity bike rides and various triathlon events.