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Palm Coast Tuesday, Jun. 2, 2020 1 month ago

School Board bids farewell to Superintendent James Tager, welcomes Cathy Mittelstadt

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Mittelstadt, most recently a deputy superintendent in St. Johns County, joined Flagler Schools on June 1.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

At its first in-person workshop since local COVID-19 pandemic closures began, the Flagler County School Board on June 2 welcomed incoming Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt and bade farewell to outgoing Superintendent James Tager.

“You’ve worked every day to make sure that we did what we needed to do for our students,” School Board member Andy Dance told Tager. “I just wish the best for you and your future.”

Under Tager’s guidance since 2017, the school district in 2019 earned an A rating from the state — its first in eight years — and improved its high school graduation rates.

Board member Colleen Conklin called Tager an “Amazing, humble, kind, caring, generous, passionate man who cares deeply about the success of all children.”

Without Tager, she said, “there are hundreds of students that would not have been able to graduate these last three years. And you and your team and your dedication and your focus made that happen, and I will be eternally grateful for that.”

Tager credited teamwork with his staff with those accomplishments.

“I think that teamwork made our school get the best grade for our community,” he said. “I think that the teamwork earned a grade that the School Board and our community can be proud of.”

Cathy Mittelstadt, who was selected by the board as its new superintendent on March 10, was on her second day with Flagler Schools on June 2. 

She was most recently a deputy superintendent in the St. Johns County school district.

“The work you put in getting us started is very impressive,” Dance said to Mittelstadt during the June 2 workshop. “It’s an indication of where the district is headed. We’re in good hands.”

Conklin agreed. “Super excited to have you, and so impressed with all of the pre-work that you did before you even started,” she said. “We look forward to your leadership. We’ll miss Jim, but he’s left a good position for you, I think, to come in and put you own style to it, and we look forward to working with you.”

“Thank you for the warm welcome,” Mittelstadt said. “Superintendent Tager in his remarks mentioned three words ... relationships, perseverance and gratitude. And the workshop this evening demonstrated all of that way of work embedded in how you are contributing to the organization. ... A big thank you for the warm welcome I received the last couple of weeks preparing the strategic plan extension. It’s been an honor to lead the group and work towards where we want to go, and use that road map in the future. I’m really excited about that.”

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