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Head of Lower School

An educator for 30 years, I have always embraced a school philosophy that focuses on providing students an outstanding education with high expectations in a learning environment of mutual respect. I believe in order for students to flourish intellectually, they should take an active role in their learning.  I have seen students thrive in a student-centered environment in which they are learning by doing, where they are empowered with instruments of self-direction. Using interesting open-ended lessons that meet academic objectives, target real world skills, and allow students to reflect upon their progress, I have seen remarkable academic and personal growth in my students. Understanding that not all students learn in the same way, teachers need to use a number of different teaching strategies and modalities to ensure each and every student is engaged and motivated. I also believe that fostering students’ creativity is equally important in developing the confidence and self-awareness they need to make meaningful personal connections to the people and the world around them.

I strongly believe that the teacher makes the difference in a student’s well-being at school and mindset for learning in the classroom and beyond.  As Head of the Lower School at Brandon Academy, I am committed to working with the teachers to continue to provide the students with a vibrant, top quality education in an environment of mutual respect.

John Dewey, an American thought leader in education who emphasized the importance of meaningful active learning and participation in the classroom, said: “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”  I share Dewey’s educational philosophy and look forward to ensuring this dynamic approach to learning continues for each student at Brandon Academy.


Cindy Strickland 

Cindy Strickland
Lower School Head
(813) 689-1952 ext. 113