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Pine Island Elementary Principal Mazzoli reassigned

By Staff | Jun 22, 2016

Pine Island Elementary School Principal Robert Mazzoli has been reassigned to another Lee County school. His last day at Pine Island Elementary was last Monday.

“I’ve been here 9 years,” Mazzoli said. “It’s funny how things can change so quickly. I remember we were talking at one of the Matlacha Hooker events saying how much we love the island and I said wanted to stay here as long as I can. I think it was only two weeks later that I got the call that I was being reassigned.”

Mazzoli was born and raised in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. In June 1985, when Mazzoli was 15, the Mazzoli family moved from Cherry Hill to Cape Coral.

“My parents still live in the same house we moved into in 1985 and my family lives just about a mile away,” Mazzoli said. “I went to the local schools and graduated from Cape Coral High School.”

After attending Edison Community College, Mazzoli went to the University of Southern Florida receiving his bachelors degree at 24 years of age.

“I finished my internship here in Southwest Florida while doing my studies in Tampa,” Mazzoli said. “I wasn’t even thinking about becoming a teacher, I thought I was going to go into the medical field as a optometrist or ophthalmologist.”

After receiving his pre-med training, Mazzoli realized “that’s not where my heart is. I’ve always done summer camps and after-school camps as a counselor and really enjoyed that. I changed direction and decided to get a degree in learning disabilities. I just wanted to help kids who were disadvantaged at no fault of their own and help provide strategies to help them be successful. I worked up in Tampa for awhile.

“I knew I wanted to teach in Lee County so I returned to Cape Coral to do an internship at J. Colin English Middle School in North Fort Myers,” Mazzoli said. “That was 4th and 5th grade kids with disabilities. I had a great teaching experience there and became eligible to apply for other jobs and I applied for a job at San Carlos Park Elementary School. I spent 2 years there and then returned to J. Colin English.”

Once Mazzoli received his masters degree and passed the state test, he applied for assistant principal jobs. He was hired as assistant principal at Gulf Middle School at just 29 years old.

“I spent 4 years there with a great team,” Mazzoil said. “We came up with a program to train our middle school kids to become mentors to the elementary school students. And, we were able to do this so there wasn’t any cost to the school system. It turned out to be a great collaboration and the program spread to other schools in the system. I’m very proud of that.”

After six years experience as an assistant principal, Mazzoil was eligible to become a principal.

“That was at the same time this job at Pine Island Elementary became available,” Mazzoil said, “so I was very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.

“When I first came out here it was overwhelming,” Mazzoli said. “But the staff, the community organizations and the community were so supportive. We’ve accomplished a lot in these 9 years and I’m proud of the work we’ve all done.

“On the last day of school I was here in my office when I got a call over the radio to come to the cafeteria – that there was an emergency,” Mazzoli said. “That never happens so I ran out there and all the kids and staff were in the cafeteria. When I came through the door everyone began to clap and cheer. I went around the room giving high-fives. I’ll remember that for the rest of my life.”

“I’m going to miss the people here more than anything,” Mazzoli said. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve 9 years as principal of Pine Island Elementary. The parents and the community have been so supportive.”

Mazzoli has been reassigned to Edgewood Academy in the Eastern School Zone of Fort Myers.

“It’s a beautiful school, built in the 1950s, with a beautiful open campus like Pine Island Elementary,” Mazzoli said. “My first goal there will be to work towards increasing parent involvement. I’m looking forward to a new adventure with new challenges.

And, Mazzoli said, island parents need not worry about PIE, that a new principal has already been assigned.

“This is bitter-sweet but I know Pine Island Elementary is in good hands with the new principal,” Mazzoil said. “Steve Hook is official he’s been approved and will be here in a few days. Steve has been principal at Oasis Elementary School, a really great guy and a perfect fit for Pine Island Elementary. So, I feel good about the future of Pine Island Elementary.”