St. Andrew Catholic School opened Monday with enthusiastic students and staff and a new principal - David Perry.
He was a principal for the last five years in California, including serving at another Catholic elementary school.
"I was actually born and raised in northern California, Fairfield," he said. "It is located equally between San Francisco and Sacramento."
David Perry, who hails from California, is the new principal at St. Andrew Catholic School.
He came here directly from California to take the St. Andrew position.
"The school opportunity was fantastic, and a lot of my wife's family lives in Lee County," he said.
He and his wife, Susan, have three children - Drew, Kaylin and Charlie - who now attend St. Andrew.
"Father Eddie is fantastic," Perry said of the school's pastor and administrator, Father Eddie Gibbons. "He's very supportive of Catholic education."
He has his own personal philosophy of Catholic eduction.
"A Catholic education does not focus solely on academics," Perry said. "Our responsibility is to develop each child spiritually, socially and academically."
He and his family are now Cape residents, moving here just a few weeks ago.
"We really like it," he said. "It's a lot bigger than we thought it would be and very family friendly."
His children like it here, too.
"They got to go to Sun Splash right before school started," he said.
Concerning his personal start and the start of the school year Monday, he said, "It's been wonderful. Everyone has been very welcoming and the kids are wonderful. They're very excited to be here, with smiles on their faces. The teachers and parents are 100 percent committed to student success.
"Our first day was very smooth."
In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family.
"We do things with the kids, sports and activities, and I'm also working on my doctorate in education leadership."
He said he is looking forward to becoming a part of the parish and school community.
"I'm also looking forward to our festival and just celebrating the successes of all of our kids," he said.
"Principal Perry is energetic and it is good to have someone new coming about," Gibbons said. "He has a refreshing vision of Catholic education, with new ideas, insight and understanding of the Catholic School Model. He'll be good for the community as well; he has a good insight into the needs of the area and how we reach out to others.
"Catholic eduction is not just for Catholics," he continued. "We reach out to others. We do reach out to non-Catholics in the community."
Concerning the first few days of school, Gibbons said, "It's nice to see the children back, they were smiling and colorful. They bring a lot of life and energy to the parish community."
St. Andrew Catholic School serves grades Pre-K through eighth grade.