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Josiah Patrick – Safety Harbor Middle School

August 8, 2023

When Josiah Patrick interviewed at Safety Harbor Middle School before being appointed the new sixth grade counselor, there was one thing notably different –Principal Danny Boulieris included students in the interview process.

“I knew at that point this was a good idea,” Patrick said of transitioning from teaching in Atlanta to being a counselor in Florida. “I’ve grown so much from teaching, but there is still so much more I want to do.”

Patrick taught special needs students at a small, private school before moving to the Tampa Bay area just last week. In addition to unpacking his U-haul, Patrick attended the Embrace Pinellas conference and met with colleagues to prepare for the upcoming school year. Both Boulieris and sixth grade principal Toni Powers have been instrumental in making him feel comfortable and at home.

“They lead by doing,” Patrick said of the administration.

He recently completed his master’s degree after being derailed by COVID and is eager to share his knowledge and experience with the sixth graders at Safety Harbor.

“If I didn’t have the experience I had with special needs, I wouldn’t understand the meaning of education in its purest form,” Patrick said. “I feel that experience will help me identify needs, fill gaps and help grow the school and my students as a school counselor.”

His goals for his students are similar to those for himself and they both begin with growth.

“I hope that you year is full of laughter and growth,” Patrick said to his students. “And that the expectations you have for yourself are nothing compared to what you will achieve.”