By Samantha Joseph
MARTIN COUNTY - Crystal Lake Elementary is getting a new principal, Timothy Aitken, who is relocating to Florida from Pennsylvania.
Mr. Aitken, former principal of Hickory Elementary in Washington County, Md., brings five years of administrative and seven years of teaching experience to the job.
He was assistant principal at Eastern Elementary, also in Washington County, and has taught at elementary and middle schools in Maryland.
He holds a master's degree in educational leadership and policy from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.
He said he wanted to move to Florida to be near his parents, who have lived in Port St. Lucie for about 10 years.
"They spoke very highly of the (Martin County) school district," Mr. Aitken said.
Their feedback, plus similar comments from colleagues from the region, led him to seek a local position, Mr. Aitken said.
At press time, he and his family were in the process of relocating from Pennsylvania to Port St. Lucie, with plans to eventually move to Martin County.
"I believe in being a part of the community where I work, so I'd like to move somewhere in the area of Crystal Lake," he said.
Mr. Aitken has been married for 12 years and has three daughters, an 11-year-old who will attend Hidden Oaks Middle School, and 9- and 6-year olds who will attend Palm City Elementary.
"I'm very excited about joining a school system such as Martin County, which is so highly regarded, and becoming part of the Crystal Lake family," Mr. Aitken said. "I'm looking forward to working with the school's teachers and staff, and meeting all of the students and parents as we kick-off the school year."
Nancy Kline, Martin County's superintendent of schools, recommended Mr. Aitken to the school board on Aug. 9 for approval as the new principal of Crystal Lake Elementary.
"We're thrilled to welcome Mr. Aitken and his family to Martin County. He brings with him a tremendous amount of experience in all aspects of education," Ms. Kline said in a statement. "I believe he will be a wonderful addition to the already stellar faculty and staff in place at Crystal Lake Elementary."
Mr. Aitken replaces longtime principal, Xenobia Poitier-Anderson, who left Crystal Lake after 14 years to become the district's executive director of human resources and staff development.