Water Spring Middle School is welcoming a new face to its school community.
Brian Sanchez Corona will serve as principal of the school.
Because Horizon High School and Water Spring were located on the same campus, Andrew Jackson served as the principal for both schools for the last two years.
Starting in the fall, Water Spring will move to its new campus at 17000 Water Spring Blvd., Horizon West.
“As we get ready to transition to our new school building, we no longer feel like we are a new school,” Sanchez Corona wrote on the middle school’s website. “We have solidified the foundation of who we are and are now moving that foundation to a new home. As we begin to leave our temporary den, we are reminded of our trials, tribulations and numerous victories. We are no longer a new school; Water Spring is an established community school. …”
Sanchez Corona is a true Floridian — born and raised in Daytona Beach. He attended Florida State University in 1999 before transferring to the University of Central Florida in 2000.
Sanchez Corona realized his passion for education when he was a senior in high school.
“I had numerous teachers, a Boy Scout master and a social worker (Scoutmaster’s wife) support me as I was getting ready to transition to my next phase in life,” he said. “They took me under their wings, made sure I took the SAT and applied to college, and even helped me with moving plans.”
Sanchez Corona said without the pair, he might have stayed in Daytona Beach and worked in the service industry.
“They saw the raw potential in me, and it was their mission to make me realize it, as well,” he said. “They were warm with me but very demanding with their expectations for the quality of my work. They pushed me to make sure I was ready to be successful in college on my own. I owe those teachers and my Boy Scout master and his wife everything. It really did take a village to get me here.”
At the time, Sanchez Corona had been living on his own since age 16.
“Both my mother and stepfather are blind,” he said. “This detail is why the influence of and support I received from my teachers was so powerful in helping me craft my future. They had access to resources and funds of knowledge that I was unaware of at the time.”
While in college at UCF, Sanchez Corona worked as a corporate trainer and curriculum designer for Convergys Corporation in Heathrow.
As an intern at the college, he served at Lake Silver Elementary School and then College Park Middle School.
He was hired by College Park in 2004 as an Exceptional Student Education teacher. In 2006, he served at Dr. Phillips High School as an intensive reading teacher before being awarded a research fellowship by the University of Florida in 2008, where he taught graduate-level reading education classes.
Sanchez Corona returned to OCPS in the fall of 2011 as a reading teacher at Freedom High School. He was appointed assistant principal in 2017.
In 2018, he served Oak Ridge High School and became the school’s assistant principal of instruction in 2019.
“There, I learned how to fine-tune systems that support students on their journey towards graduation,” he said. “I was able to support the students, school and community through a 98% graduation rate while there. I also learned the importance of really getting to know each staff, faculty member and student on an individual basis at Oak Ridge. It was at this time that I learned how to pivot 2,500 students and more than 175 staff and faculty members to virtual and then hybrid instruction. That was a very interesting time, and I counted on a Popeye’s spicy chicken sandwich (with buffalo sauce) and a Diet Coke to get me through each day. I learned so much and am grateful for my time at Oak Ridge.”
Now, Sanchez Corona is using his lessons to teach others.
“It is my role to remove barriers and secure resources for our teachers,” he said. “With a new school, I am honored that I have been able to create and add to a school culture that (ensures) positive interactions and experiences with all stakeholders.”
Outside of school, Sanchez Corona can be found at the gym, reading, biking, playing baseball and softball, or spending time with and making memories with his family and friends. He lives in Ocoee with his husband, Juan Diego Sanchez Corona.