Eddie Flor ’09
Master of Science in Educational Leadership
What brought you to St. Thomas University?
I attended STU because I wanted to enjoy the Catholic environment and the smaller class sizes.
Where are you now and what are you doing?
I am a product of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Miami and have been a teacher and administrator with the archdiocese for 20 years. I began my career at my alma mater, Msgr. Edward Pace High School in Miami Gardens, where I served for 17 years. I started as graphic designer in the Advancement Office while assisting with alumni and fundraising events. I then taught computer science, serving as department chair and network administrator of the student servers. I expanded the technology education program to include advanced courses for graphics, web design, and programming. Seven years later, I joined the school’s leadership team as the director of Student Activities, helping the program expand to over 70 clubs and organizations. My role then changed to director of Student Affairs, where I coordinated admissions along with student activities, helping to increase the school’s enrollment each year.
In July 2017, I joined the St. Mary’s Cathedral School family as the assistant principal. I took on the role of principal in 2018. I have also held leadership roles on Catholic school advisory boards and served as director of marketing and public relations for the Archdiocese of Miami Virtual Catholic School from 2012 through 2019.
I am a graduate of Immaculate Conception Catholic School in Hialeah, Msgr. Pace High School and St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens. I have a bachelor’s degree in information technology computer systems from American Intercontinental University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from STU. I married my beautiful wife, Marilyn, April 2018 and we had our son, Lucas, January 2019.
My vision for St. Mary’s Cathedral School includes maintaining a strong Catholic identity as the school just celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2019; and raising the academic bar to ensure student learning and achievement while building the school’s reputation as a Catholic school of excellence.
What do you like most about what you are doing?
I love to see children grow! I believe we need to educate each child academically, spiritually and emotionally. We are blessed to be able to pray together and to infuse our faith throughout the curriculum. It brings me great joy and fulfillment to connect with former students years after they’ve graduated and see that they are doing so well. I love it when they refer to something I said or did and how it influenced them to achieve their goals.
How did your experience at St. Thomas University shape your career path?
I had several wonderful professors that went above and beyond to help me. One in particular that I still speak about is Dr. Carrera. He took us to his actual elementary school building and showed us what real world principalship looked like. He gave us so many ideas and pointers and went beyond the textbook. Everyone at the St. Thomas knew me by name. It was a very family-like environment.
Share your favorite St. Thomas University memory?
I did not attend a typical ceremony for my undergrad graduation from AIU since I completed my last semester of my bachelor’s program online and they only offered a virtual graduation. My master’s graduation ceremony was one of the first in the Fernandez Leadership Center at STU. It was a beautiful moment as we were one of the first groups to celebrate this joyous occasion in the beautiful new center. I was able to celebrate receiving my master’s from STU and share this moment with my family and professors.
What is the most important thing you learned while you were attending St. Thomas University?
One of my professors, Dr. Carrera shared, “If you want to be successful, always surround yourself with people who are just as smart as you if not smarter.” Throughout my educational career, I have been able to have the support of some wonderful and talented people. Since entering the leadership realm of my journey, that tip has definitely helped me accomplish many of the goals that I have set for the schools I have worked at. This was extremely helpful when I made the change from high school to elementary. Having brought on an Assistant Principal that is a guru in elementary curriculum allowed me, as principal, to focus on the other areas of school life that needed attention including discipline, marketing, branding, advancement, technology and staff development. It is important that the members of my leadership team support the areas that I am less experienced in and visa versa. I also experienced this formula while at Msgr. Pace High School with principal Ana Garcia. The leaders all complement each other producing a successful product for the students and families.
What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
Stay focused. Do not give up. Get as much real world experience as you can. Network, network, network. These are very new times and make sure you know your technology!
How did your education at St. Thomas University prepare you for what you are doing today?
I was able to get a great foundation that was faith-infused. I am forever thankful to the wonderful, patient, and supportive professors that guided and educated me at STU.
What activities were you involved in when you were at St. Thomas University?
I started my master’s degree while working full time at Msgr. Pace High School. My responsibilities, which included coordinating the Student Activities and Admissions departments, required much time and some travel and I was not able to connect on that level. I worked full time during the day, went to school in the evening, and had to travel for work some nights and weekends in between. I would have loved to get more connected if time had permitted.
What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t working?
My wife and I are foodies and we love exploring South Florida unique eating spots. We also love to travel (although that gets tough with a toddler) and we look forward to taking our son with us once it is safe to travel. Our time and attention is focused on being loving and supportive parents while helping our little one grow and learn as much as he can. We are enjoying his baby years to the fullest. He is our pride and joy!