By Matt Wiley

New Lawton Chiles Elementary’s principal Teresa Evans, Ed.D.
Lawton Chiles Elementary’s new principal Teresa Evans, Ed.D.

In addition to receiving an “A” from the Florida Department of Education (DOE) for the 2012-13 school year, Lawton Chiles Elementary in Tampa Palms also is beginning the 2013-14 school year with a new principal.

Teresa Evans, Ed.D., is the new principal for Chiles (which is located on Tampa Palms Blvd.), but she isn’t new to the school. In fact, Dr. Evans was a teacher at Chiles when the school opened back in 2000, where she taught second and third grade until 2005.

Evans says that she is excited about her return to Chiles and plans to maintain its stellar reputation of earning an “A” every school year since 2003.

“There’s always pressure when you’re a principal of a school,” Evans explains. “Each year, you have a new group of kids, but we have great teachers here.”

Having earned both a Master’s degree in Elementary Education (2008) and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Leadership (2010) from the nearby University of South Florida (USF), Evans says that her extensive experience across the Hillsborough County School District (HCSD) makes her the ideal candidate to lead Chiles into the future.

“I have an understanding of not only Chiles, but also the Tampa Palms community,” Evans explains. “Plus, I can supplement that with experience (I’ve had) in different positions at different kinds of schools.”

After leaving Chiles in 2005, Evans went on to work as a resource teacher at Lockhart Magnet Elementary in North Tampa, where she worked with both lower-level reading students and gifted first grade students. She then served as the assistant principal at the Rampello Partnership Magnet School in downtown Tampa before working as an assistant principal at Dunbar Elementary Magnet School, just west of downtown Tampa.

“I’ve come full circle,” Evans says. “This year at Chiles, we’re going to continue the tradition of teamwork, making sure that the students get all the help that they need.”

Lawton Chiles Elementary is located at 16541 Tampa Palms Blvd. For more information, please call the school at 558-5422 or visit


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