Longtime educator and Royal Palm Beach resident Bruce Saulter was recently chosen by the School District of Palm Beach County to be the new principal of Cypress Trails Elementary School, replacing Shari Bremekamp in that role.
Originally from Indiana, Saulter moved to South Florida in 2006 and taught hundreds of students at Royal Palm Beach Elementary School from 2006 through 2012.
“I started my career here in Palm Beach County,” Saulter said. “At Royal Palm Beach Elementary School, I had the opportunity to grow as a teacher and leader. I learned the value in and importance of parent involvement, [as well as] the importance of bringing in resources and volunteers from within the community.”
In 2012, Saulter was tapped to serve as assistant principal of Seminole Trails Elementary School in West Palm Beach.
“When I became assistant principal, I took those same values with me and worked hard to develop a positive and supportive climate for students here at Seminole Trails,” Saulter said.
With his latest promotion, Saulter is excited to return to the Royal Palm Beach community, where he has lived since 2014. He looks forward to serving the families of his home community.
“My wife, son and I live in Royal Palm Beach,” he said. “We are residents and active members of the community. I’m aware of what kind of support and what kind of beliefs the residents of Royal Palm Beach have, and they always support their schools. As a community member, I look forward to, as principal, getting to support the students and families of Royal Palm Beach at Cypress Trails.”
One of Saulter’s top priorities going into the 2018-19 school year will be working with the school district to ensure school safety for the students, staff and volunteers of Cypress Trails.
“I want to have a safe and positive environment on campus. Once the school year begins, that will be my number one priority,” Saulter said. “Some key things that we will do to ensure that all-around safety is being met is ensuring everyone on campus has gone through a check at the front office. I want to ask our families and volunteers for their flexibility and understanding, as we will ask for ID and do a little background check to ensure that everyone entering has a purpose on campus.”
Along with closely monitoring everyone entering the school, Saulter will also work with teachers and staff to assure that all are properly prepared for any emergency and capable of protecting students.
“I want to also be sure that teachers and staff are knowledge able on our safety procedures, so I will work with my staff to review our crisis plans to make sure we are practicing our drills,” Saulter said.
Saulter will also be working with the school district on the various renovations taking place throughout the summer at the elementary school.
Cypress Trails is slated for a total of more than $8 million in renovations, which got underway once school let out. Two of the larger improvements to the school, which are scheduled to be completed by the end of this summer, are renovating all necessary windows, roofs and doors, and securing the school to have a single point of entry.
Emphasizing family and community involvement will be Saulter’s other primary goal as principal at Cypress Trails. He stressed the level of excellence all students can reach if they have the support of their families and community.
“I would like to increase parent involvement,” he said. “I want to give families the opportunity to be involved in their children’s education and for families to contribute in different ways.”
This includes having more parents giving input on the direction of the school’s academic focus and participating in fundraising or different activities.
“We will have a lot more opportunities for those wishing to continue to support the success that Cypress Trails has and has always had,” Saulter said.
Saulter will make it his mission to find new methods of reaching out to parents and volunteers, in order to increase communication and participation, and to create a well-balanced and supportive environment for the students.
“We are going to look into reaching out to more families and more volunteers through possible newsletters and/or through social media,” Saulter said.
Saulter will begin his active duties as principal as early as July, since Bremekamp will be moving on to lead Hidden Oaks, the school district’s first K-8 STEAM school. He looks forward to carrying on Bremekamp’a legacy of success.
“Cypress Trails has an established tradition of success. It is a school that places a strong emphasis on the academic success of each individual student,” Saulter said. “So, I am joining a team that is already on the rise, and I’m coming in to help take our level of instruction, which is already standards based and rigorous, and continuing it and taking it to another level.”
He stands ready to embrace the Cypress Trails community and its families. “If anyone has time to volunteer and come to meetings and contribute, I’m looking forward to that,” Saulter said. “As a former teacher and member of the Royal Palm Beach community, I know that education is a top priority, and I can’t wait to get started. I feel welcomed, and I feel that I will pick up exactly where the school left off — succeeding — and I will hit the ground running.”