Principal's Message  

July 3, 2023

Good afternoon Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School families, 

I hope your summer is off to a great start. I wanted to take a moment during this break to introduce myself. I am Dr. Karen Prentice, the new principal of PLDMS. I am looking forward to a year of successful learning and positive changes for the 2023-24 school year.

As a mom of three, I always wanted to know who was leading the charge at my children’s schools. You are trusting us with your children every day, and it is important that we work as a team to help our students SOAR to achieve their highest potential. For a little background on me: I began working for the School District of Lee County in 1998 as an English teacher, including a year here at PLDMS as a writing coach. I was chosen a Golden Apple in 2002, and since that time added middle grades math certification, earned my doctorate in teaching and learning from UF, and served as an administrator at the middle and high school levels. My most recent position was as assistant principal at Three Oaks Middle School.

Our students here at PLDMS have a history of excellence in academics and athletics, in both our TAG program and our schoolwide population. Our thriving fine and performing arts programs continue to be an asset to our students. Our commitment to SOAR (Spirit, Optimism, Achievement and Respect) is part of the foundation of our school culture and community.

With a rich tradition to draw from, we will sharpen our school’s focus in 2023-2024. This coming year, we will truly SOAR. As part of that renewed focus, please review our school’s dress code before school shopping. This can be found on our website; I wanted to make sure you know the expectations before taking advantage of sales and tax free days. The key things to review for your student: hoodies, crocs, and any jeans that are ripped, torn or distressed are prohibited. Shirts must have collars, and closed toe shoes are required.
Our school start and end times remain the same, and our Student Code of Conduct will be posted soon. There have been no changes in the curriculum this year; teachers are looking forward to digging deeper and helping our Eagles truly SOAR.

I will be sending another letter out in two weeks with additional information for August 8th open house, and our Early Eagle program for our incoming sixth graders. Those 6th grade families will receive a separate letter with more details.

Questions? I am inviting any interested parents to join me for an informal Coffee with the Principal on July 20 at 8:30 am - 9:30 am. Feel free to stop in that morning, meet the administrative team, and ask any questions you might have.

This year is going to fly!


Dr. Karen Prentice
[email protected]

Mission To help each student be his/her best
Vision To be a “World Class” school
We will always strive to succeed
We will be the master of our own future
Our students SOAR
  • Spirit - have pride in our school and enthusiasm for learning
  • Optimism - seek positive solutions and expect the best
  • Achievement - work hard to accomplish our goals as we increase academic rigor
  • Respect - show kindness toward others
  • Ensure the safety and well-being of all students
  • Ensure academic achievement of all students
  • Ensure all children are well-prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century and are prepared to be successful in high school
  • Provide students with a well-balanced education centered on academic achievement, and personal growth in all areas, social, physical and academic.


Name Title Email
Dr. Karen Prentice Principal Email
Winston Woods Assistant Principal  Email
Dr. Denise Fitzpatrick Assistant Principal  Email
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