BUNNELL – A new principal has been announced for Bunnell Elementary School: Cari McGee. The revelation of McGee as the latest BES principal comes in the wake of Donelle Evensen’s resignation amidst a racism scandal that occurred in her tenure.
“Cari McGee knows the children, families, teachers, and staff at Bunnell Elementary,” said Superintendent LaShakia Moore of McGee’s selection. “When I asked the stakeholders at BES what they want in their next leader, they said they wanted a person who would listen and be active in our community. I’m confident Ms. McGee is that person.”
McGee brings over a decade of experience in Flagler Schools to her role, having served years as a school counselor and then as an assistant principal from 2019 until now. She graduated from Western Michigan University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Psychology, then from Michigan State University in 2006 with a Master of Arts in Counseling Education. In 2018 she graduated with a a Master of Education, Educational Leadership from the American College of Education, and she’s now working toward her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida.
“I appreciate Superintendent Moore’s confidence in me,” McGee said of her selection. “I have been proud to be a Bullpup these past five years and am excited to see how we can move this campus forward.”
McGee’s predecessor, Donelle Evensen, was already under intense scrutiny at the time of her resignation in September. She had approved a school assembly comprised of only Black students, in which they were warned of early deaths or imprisonments if they didn’t improve their test scores, and placed into academic competitions against one another. The organizers of the assembly were primarily composed of Black faculty, but had Evensen’s permission to proceed.
The incident became international news, leading Bunnell Elementary to be labeled as racist on the global stage. Evensen resisted notions that she had racist intentions, and asserted that she didn’t deserve the portion of blame she immediately received.
McGee will have the task of leading a school which just months earlier made ugly headlines. Her university experience in education leadership has at times focused on racial diversity according to student profiles, indicating the district’s leadership may see her as particularly well-suited to right the school’s lasting legacy.