When Palmetto Middle School students return to school on Aug. 23 they will find a new principal in the front office. John Lux is the new principal at Palmetto Middle, replacing Lisa Noffo, who has moved on to become principal at the New World School of the Arts.
Lux is thrilled to be assigned to Palmetto Middle.
“It’s one of the flagship schools of the district,” he said.
Lux was called the day before the Miami-Dade School Board meeting to let him know about a reassignment. He received a confirmation call about the school board decision, plus numerous congratulatory calls after the vote.
The vote was on a Wednesday and by Thursday he was spending time in his new office. He met frequently with Noffo and others in order to assure a smooth transition. As the new principal, he plans to see how things work before considering changes.
“I don’t plan on changing anything that is not broken. From what I’ve seen right now, there doesn’t seem to be anything that is broken,” he said. “My first year, I’m going to go in there and observe. I might point out things, but I’m not going to make changes.”
Lux said Palmetto Middle is a very, very high achieving school, which he believes comes from a strong collaboration between the teachers, students and parents.
“The way I see my role is to be actively involved in the community and support student achievement and teachers teaching,” he said. “If I impact it, I impact it positively.”
He has a record of achievement. When he arrived at Miami Heights Elementary, it was a D school.
“When I left it was an A school meeting adequate yearly progress.”
One of his highest priorities is to be quite visible.
“I visit classrooms daily, sometimes three times a day,” Lux said. “I take part in the honor awards assemblies. I believe children at all levels should have regular assemblies.”
Lux takes over Palmetto Middle after three years at Miami Heights Elementary. He also worked at Ben Sheppard Elementary in Hialeah as an assistant principal and as an assistant principal at Dr. Carlos Finlay Elementary. He was at Jane S. Roberts K-8 as the assistant principal in charge of the middle school.
Before becoming an administrator, Lux was a classroom teacher for approximately seven years, starting out at Bowman Foster Ashe Elementary and Miami Central High. At Miami Central he taught computer science and engineering. He also has taught educational leadership courses at Florida International University and several computer science classes at Barry University.
While Lux enjoyed teaching, he feels being an administrator is important.
“I have a more global impact as an administrator,” he said, adding as a teacher, he would impact 30-150 kids a year but as a principal, he has the opportunity to positively affect the lives of 1,200-plus students.
Lux went to FIU for his undergraduate degree, Barry University for his master’s and took leadership classes at Nova Southeastern. Lux also attended the Harvard Leadership Institute.
He’s a local boy, having grown up around SW 87th Avenue and 148th Street, attending St. Louis Catholic Church, where he and his family are lifetime members.