While training with the U.S. rowing team, Geoff McKee
found a passion with a greater inner reward- teaching.
"In between training sessions, I was a substitute at a school for court committed students in Philadelphia," McKee
said."I fell in love with education.And I really liked the impact I had on strangers, these young people that were trying to find their way."
A long journey full of teaching jobs and administrative stints landed McKee his
current title as principal of Boca Raton Community High School
After a back injury ruined his
chances of heading to the Olympics, McKee
coached rowing at the University of Miami
and taught adult education.
"I loved it, but it was painful to be that close to the sport and not be able to compete," he
then turned to education as a full time job.He received his doctorate in educational leadership at UM.Shortly after, he began his first job teaching kindergarten at Liberty City Elementary School in Miami.
It was during this time that McKee
was inspired to become a principal.
"I realized the impact a principal could have on a school community," McKee
said."My passion was sparked."He
then went on to hold various assistant principal jobs in Miami.Some of his
education contributions included combining an elementary and middle school into one school and working with Governor Jeb Bush
to establish the first Florida charter school.
But as his
family began to grow, McKee
wife were looking for a safe place to raise children.
That's when the couple discovered Boca Raton
"We wanted the kids to be exposed to people from all backgrounds," said McKee
, who has four children, Grace, Clare, Zebedee, and Max."We found it in Boca Raton
with the quality of education and diversity."
And shortly after the move, McKee
landed a job as assistant principal at Spanish River Community High School
"I had no high school experience so I thought it would be a good learning experience for me," said McKee
, who worked there for four years.
was transferred to neighboring Boca Raton Community High School
in 2003.The principal was surprised but elated to be so close to home.
"I could have been placed anywhere like Riviera Beach," he
The Boca principal said he
has watched the school transform.Some of the academic successes include a jump in the last two years of 71 points in performance in the state grading scale and averaging more than 1100 AP test compared to 200 in 2003. McKee
credits this success to dedicated staff, teachers, parents and students.
"The students and teachers had full confidence that if they worked hard, they could do it," he
Despite these everyday obstacles, McKee
wouldn't trade his
position at Boca High
"What distinguishes Boca High
is that all the members of the school community are excited to be here.The teachers adore their students and look forward to coming to work everyday and there are dynamic parent volunteers on campus each day," he