By MARCIA LANE
Chris Force will be the new principal of First Coast Technical College, according to an announcement from the St. Johns County School District.
Force is currently the district’s director of Career and Technical Education and assistant principal at First Coast. Her nomination goes to the St. Johns County School Board for approval at their Jan. 10 meeting.
She’ll replace FCTC interim principal Cathy Mittelstadt, who is also the district’s associate superintendent for Student Services. Mittelstadt will help Force with the transition and be on hand as continuing resource for the school and its students, according to the District.
First Coast, a charter school, has been through a series of upheavals in the past year that eventually included resignation of the president and the board giving up the charter. St. Johns School District then took over administrative and operation duties of the post-secondary facility that also has a campus in Palatka. Mittelstadt was appointed interim principal.
Force spent 24 years in Duval County public schools where she served in a variety of capacities through the yeas including as the district’s director of career and technical education. She also was an adjunct professor at Florida Community College from1994 to 2008. In 2015 she was hired by St. Johns as director of Career and Technical Education.
“FCTC is so valued in the school district and community, it is my honor to serve in this capacity,” said Force. “I am committed to taking a strategic approach to ensure that we are meeting the needs of students as well as workforce and economic development in the region.”
She has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Florida State University and has pursued doctoral work at the University of North Florida with an emphasis in career academies and technology.