It is not an unusual sight to see Mr. Mike Ferguson quite literally running after students to tuck in their shirts or making quick-witted jokes that sometimes leaves them scratching their heads. When he is not telling jokes, informing students they have only five minutes of lunch left as he eats standing up, walking alongside them to ensure they do actually make it to class, teaching, and making both faculty and staff laugh with his antics, he is the Assistant Principal. Mr. Ferguson has been at The Vanguard School for a little over three years and became the Assistant Principal last year. Recently, we were able to sit down with him and ask a few questions about his role and where he sees Vanguard in the future.

Thank you so much for letting us interrupt your day! What brought you to The Vanguard School?Assistant Principal of the Vanguard School for Learning Differences in Florida

Well, that would be Coach Dan Sheppard, who still is here after 30+ years. I worked with Mr. Sheppard at Santa Fe Catholic School in 1997. I was the Athletic Director and he was the Boys' Basketball Coach. I approached him three years ago looking for a job opportunity and the rest is history.

What do you view as your most important contribution to the daily operation at Vanguard?

The new dress code is very important so I find myself making sure that students are dressed appropriately. Also, getting students to and from class on time is a major task. If everyone is in class on time, it gives them a more positive mindset to learn.

What is your favorite aspect of being the Assistant Principal?

I love getting to know each student and their personalities. Students tend to open up more readily when they know they can trust you and you help them with any issues they may be going through.

How is your role different than being a teacher?

Well, there is no significant difference. I try to be the same person when I am teaching as I am normally.

How do you want to affect change at Vanguard?

Spring Dance Fun at the Vanguard School in Florida

I want to grow our athletic programs and introduce new sports that directly interest our students. For example, archery is a sport that appeals to both genders and everyone has the same opportunity to excel. We plan on introducing archery in 2018.

What does the future of Vanguard look like?

Vanguard's future is a very bright one. I have seen so many positive changes in just my three years here. There has been a complete change in administration, how everyday operations are managed, the campus wide beautification project, the pool upgrades, and locker renovation are just to name a few. It is great to watch a positive culture grow and knowing that I am a part of it.

What do you like most about being at The Vanguard School?

I love the people, students, and the commitment to make a difference in the students' lives. It is a great honor to have the ability to watch the students mature from year to year and then see them graduate. Seeing this evolution is second to none.

You can contact Mr. Ferguson by e-mailing him: Michael.Ferguson@vanguardschool.org



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