TERRA’s “New” Principal

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Justin Pradere

TERRA principal, Mr. Jose Sirven, engaging in club rush with the wolves he leads. Photo credit: Justin Pradere

Desiree Pico, Section Editor

For the first time since its opening in 2009, the TERRA wolfpack is welcoming a new alpha! Succeeding Ms. Carrie Montano–TERRA’s original principal for seven years– is a very outgoing and energetic leader: Mr. Jose Sirven. Although he is considered the “new” principal, this is actually his eighth year at TERRA; he was an assistant principal since its opening in 2009. In his absence last year, he operated as the principal of a STEM-oriented high school, Biotech @ Richmond Heights, but is “simply ecstatic” to be back home.  

Mr. Sirven has been a part of the Miami Dade County Public Schools system for twenty-six years. During this time — at high schools such as South Miami, Coral Park, Miami Edison, and Hammocks Middle, to name a few — he has been involved in roles ranging from computer programmer to classroom teacher. Sirven was welcomed back as principal with open arms by all. Some of his colleagues who worked with him at TERRA in the past say that working with him again is really great.

“He’s been so much a part of this school for so long. He knows how we work, he knows what the kids are like, he knows what the expectations are, and he truly, from the beginning, has been here to deliver on all of that,” says CAP Advisor Mrs. Julie Vivian.

A very active and outdoorsy person, Sirven is rarely idle. When he’s not fishing, camping, or diving, he is on the move around TERRA, whether it be on foot or hoverboard. “He’s on the go 24/7, so that brings me a little anxiety because he just doesn’t stop,” laughs activities director Mrs. Angie Gonzalez, “but yes, it’s been fun to have him back.”   

When asked about his return, Sirven responded, “It’s amazing. It’s almost like I’m a movie star. I’m out there doing car duty in the morning and parents just stop and clap. When I walk the hallways, ninth graders want to take pictures with me,” he jokes. As a principal this year, he plans on putting his last four years before retirement to good use by accomplishing various goals, such as making TERRA a very enjoyable place for both students and teachers alike and “being that positive energy all schools need.” Already, some of his goals have been fulfilled, such as a reduction of class size and the bringing in of six new teachers, yet Sirven does not wish to stop there. He plans on accomplishing even greater things this year at TERRA.

“I’m not perfect,” admits Sirven. “I make mistakes, but I want to learn from those mistakes and keep moving forward.”