Gibbs High School principal Kevin Gordon, who led the school through its turnaround from an F rating to a grade just short of a B last year, will take over leadership of St. Petersburg College’s Downtown and Midtown campuses in November.
Gordon, 47, will replace Yvonne Ulmer, who is retiring as the campuses’ chief executive officer.
“We are thrilled to have a student-focused leader of Kevin’s ability join the college’s efforts in Downtown and Midtown,” St. Petersburg College President Bill Law said. “St. Petersburg College has worked closely with Gibbs High as Kevin and the Gibbs staff helped their students make impressive gains. We know Kevin will bring that same energy and vision to his new role at the college.”
Tonjua Williams, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at St. Petersburg College, said Gordon’s deep roots in the community will be valuable as the college looks for ways to improve its services to students and to expand its offerings.
“Kevin grew up here, and he knows the community,” Williams said. “He’s passionate about education at all levels and is uniquely positioned to help students of all ages and needs reach their goals.”
Gordon said the move to St. Petersburg College “is a natural progression of the work I’ve done in education, in K-12. At Downtown and Midtown, I’ll really be able to work closely with the high schools to better prepare kids for college and partner with the school district and other agencies in the Midtown area.”
St. Petersburg College currently has about 2,600 students enrolled at the Downtown Center and about 600 enrolled at Midtown. The college’s Midtown center operates from leased space on 22nd Street S, but the college is working with the city of St. Petersburg on plans to build a new 45,000-square-foot classroom center on 22nd Street S, near the Johnnie Ruth Clarke Health Center.
Gordon has a bachelor’s in economics from Florida State University and a master’s in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University. He will receive his doctorate in educational leadership at the University of South Florida in December.
He joined the Pinellas County school system in 1987 and has been a teacher, magnet programs recruiter and coordinator of the 500 Role Models of Excellence program. He was assistant principal at Clearwater High from 1996 to 2003; principal of John Hopkins Middle School from 2003 to 2005; and principal of High Point Elementary from 2005 to 2009. He became principal of Gibbs High in 2009.