OCPS sees familiar faces in new places

Multiple schools around the area — including Ocoee High, Olympia High and West Orange High among others — will be lead by new principals.

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  • | 12:02 p.m. June 24, 2020
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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With Orange County Public Schools out for summer break, now is the time teachers and administration — both old and new — find new roles and new schools to call home.

The following are a few of the new hires and promotions announced recently.



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Courtesy photo

Christy Gorberg has been a part of OCPS since 2000 and has served in a variety of roles — most recently spending three years as the principal at SunRidge Elementary.

Gorberg, who has spent most of her time working at the high school level, now will take on the principal role at Olympia High School. The move was about following her heart, she said.

“I have really enjoyed my time at SunRidge Elementary, and it is difficult to leave,” Gorberg said. “However, I believe my true calling is working with high school students and helping them make the most of their time in high school while preparing for college and careers.”



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Courtesy photo

Lisa Karcinski will be taking over the role of principal at Ocoee High School starting in the fall.

With 13 years of experience in education, Karcinski has served a number of roles in the OCPS system. From her role as the OCPS district instructional coach for multi-tiered system of supports to her most recent role as the senior administrator for the high school office, Karcinski is looking forward to her first year as a principal.

“I am most looking forward to meeting and learning about our students, and making sure that every student feels welcomed, accepted and at home at Ocoee High School,” she said.



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Courtesy photo

For the last two years, Matthew Turner served as the principal at Westridge Middle School in Oak Ridge, and now he is readying to step into the same role at West Orange High School.

During his 19 years in education, Turner has served just about every role imaginable — including teacher, athletic coach and dean — and has spent the last 15 years in the OCPS system.

Turner is an avid sports fan and someone who enjoys learning — he currently is pursuing a law degree and is preparing to take the Florida portion of the Florida bar.

“My goal is to see West Orange High School become the most balanced school in the state,” Turner said. “A place of high student academic achievement, a place where all students feel safe to become the best versions of themselves, a place where extracurricular activities are second to none, and a place where our faculty and staff can truly call home.”



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Courtesy photo

For the last four years, Laura Beusse has served as the principal at Ocoee High School, but now she moves into new territory as the first principal of the relief school that will be located at 10393 Seidel Road in Horizon West.

Although she will be a part of the opening of this new school, it’s not the first time Beusse, a Florida native who started her career in education in 1982, has done such a thing. She actually has been a part of three different school openings within OCPS.

“While I am looking forward to working with all stakeholders throughout the process of establishing and opening the new school, I am most looking forward to meeting and working with the students,” she said.



After eight years as Olympia’s principal, Guy Swenson will become the first principal at the new relief school under construction in Southwest Orlando.

Swenson has been in education for 23 years and has served numerous roles, but this new endeavor is one he has wanted for long time, he said.

“The challenge of creating a comprehensive high school from the ground up has always appealed to me,” he said. “I was a teacher at Olympia when it opened in 2001, and I know the work it takes from that perspective to get a school moving in the right direction in a short amount of time.”





Jennifer Cupid-McCoy is entering her 30th year in education and doesn’t seem to be slowing down one bit.

After serving as the executive area director in the Southeast Learning Community for six months, Cupid-McCoy now takes on the role of West Learning Community area superintendent.

“I am most excited about seeing students demonstrate resilience so that they excel academically while remaining balanced from a social emotional standpoint,” Cupid-McCoy said. 




Kathleen Phillips began working as Sand Lake Elementary’s new principal in February but only had a short time to get to meet everyone.

Although her first semester as principal was shortened because of the coronavirus pandemic, Phillips is excited to continue her journey through education — which began in 2003.

“Very early into my starting there, it became abundantly clear Sand Lake Elementary is an extremely special place,” Phillips said. “I quickly looked to pursue the principalship permanently in hopes of being able to plant roots and form relationships focused on doing what is best for all students while supporting the staff and partnering with our families and the community.”


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