Principal off to good start at Divine Mercy Catholic Academy
David Parker, a resident of Viera, is the principal at Divine Mercy Catholic Academy on Merritt Island.
VIERA VOICE photo
Loving children and desiring to make a positive change, David Parker, the principal of Divine Mercy Catholic Academy on Merritt Island, has made an impression in just seven months since his arrival in July 2017.
“I think the thing I have done so far is to give a sense of stability,” Parker said. “I love education at its purist form and can affect change in the form of a principal. We need to serve the needs of the kids of the community. If we forget that, then we do a disservice. So, it is really a focus on the children.
“My hope is to expand the campus, the facilities and grow the enrollment of the school. The more kids we have in here, the more change and growth. The focus is how we think critically and how we solve problems. We are trying out education with pure motivation and inspiration and maybe a little bit of excitement.”
He says he is a “big fan of his teachers and staff; being blessed with the teachers and the faculty. They work so hard.”
Parker’s enthusiasm bubbles to the surface as he talks about his goals and really moving forward with programs and to increase enrollment and provide opportunities outside the box.
“We are forming a performing arts program this year, bringing back music programs, athletic programs with multiple teams and sports, competing among Catholic schools.”
He wants to increase the size of the campus that already has a media center, a full library and full technology laboratory. Enrollment is 160 students, kindergarten through eighth grade. A pre-kindergarten program offers orientation and socialization.
“The world needs digital advancements to make progress going forward, but keep traditional learning as well,” Parker said. “We don’t have to teach to a test. The test does not make our decisions.”
Parker believes “we have to grow and reinvest in our own system. Children raised here, educated here should be able to find something with these companies (locally) and reinvest and stay here, not leave. I want them to stay here to reinvest here. My hope is to make that happen.”
Parker, who moved from New York to Viera with his family in 2007, earned his bachelor’s degree at Long Island University and his master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Central Florida.