Our Principal

Meet Principal Mary Hope Estill

Principal Estill
Welcome to the most colorful and caring school in San Diego!
 
I am proud to be leader of a staff so dedicated to helping our students reach their potential. That truly is the best part of my job, to see the magic that happens when gifted teachers turn the light on inside of the children and inspire them. That process always inspires me to do my best, too!
 
I have been an educator for 30 years and have been lucky to serve as principal at Florence for 12 years, long enough to see major changes for the better. We have new top-grade technology, we have great art and murals surrounding virtually every surface of our school. I want school to be a haven and a place where children really want to be every day.
 
The students and parents picked out the colors of our artwork and worked with a professional artist on the design and even helped pain themselves. The process turns their world around. It is not a school that they go to, it is theirs. Their school. That is an important distinction, to engage the child and give them greater involvement in education and ownership of their school. 
 
We face many challenges here at Florence, not enough educational resources, pressures from the outside world. Our student body represents a high poverty, high minority population. We focus here on the transforming power of education. And the magic happens every day because of the people inside this school, the teachers, the parents, the students, the many, many community volunteers and education partners who give their time and talent and heart to our kids.
 
And I know it is working. I think of that first grader who tells me he can't write and then two months later that same boy brings me a wonderful story describing a family reunion and I see the glow in his face now that he has the capability to put into words his strong feelings. Believe me, there is nothing like the magic of education.
 
Come see Florence in action!