Dear Parents and Students:
As Principal of BridgePrep Academy of Collier, I would like to welcome you to a great year of learning! It is my great pleasure and honor to serve as the Principal at BPA of Collier, in its inaugural year. In the 2017-18 school year, the 16 BPAs across the State of Florida made tremendous impact on the children, families and communities which they serve. As one of the newest campuses, BPA of Collier aims to continue in the tradition of academic excellence and impact.
I would like to take this moment to introduce myself and share with you a bit about my background, experiences, and aspirations. I was born into a large blended family. My parents, both immigrants from the island nation of Haiti, met in the fields where they picked seasonal crops in central Florida. Being that they had very limited literacy, my first job (or better yet unpaid internship) at around 7 years old, was to serve as a language broker for my relatives who were limited English proficient (LEP) and/or non-literate. Like me, thousands of first-generation children and English language learners must endure the pressure of bridging between languages and cultures.This was the source of my competitive nature and the beginning of my journey into language/cultural studies and education leadership.
Naples has been my home for as long as I can remember. I completed my entire K-12 education with Collier County Public Schools. As a student-athlete, I was high achieving, earning both an academic Bright Futures scholarship and a track & field scholarship to the University of South Florida. At USF I competed at the NCAA Division I level, twice earning All-American status. In 2004 I set school records in the 20-pound weight throw (69-9.5), discus (191-9), and hammer (209-10). Also, Conference USA awarded me the title of athlete of the decade for stellar performances in the classroom and on the field. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a graduate certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, I continued my career as a professional athlete and coached USF’s men’s and women’s track and field team. My distances in the throws still holds records today and in 2013, I was honored to be inducted into USF’s Athletics Hall of
In 2006, I was offered an opportunity to study abroad and train at the University of Bath, a top-ranking institution in England. There I earned a master’s degree in education, specializing in English language teaching and competed on the athletics team. At Bath, my world view was broadened, as I met and befriended many international students and locals from around the globe. It was thus fitting that I chose to complete my master’s thesis on the challenges that immigrants face resettling abroad and learning the English language. My research subjects were UK residents from Taiwan, Egypt and Brazil.
After competing in the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, I returned home to Naples to complete my thesis and start my career in education. I got my start at a private, residential facility for boys and then began working in the district, teaching, Spanish, English and Reading. For two years I ran a small non-profit organization, focused on teaching adult literacy and career readiness. My passion for educational leadership led me to pursue a doctorate in higher education and adult learning, with a specialization in community engagement and parental involvement.
I am a devoted mother to four handsome boys, a wife, and passionate educator. For more than 13 years, I have been dedicated to teaching, coaching, and leading education. I am excited and honored that you have chosen BridgePrep Academy to serve you and the surrounding community. Please know that our team of educational professionals is here to serve you. We are passionate, we are diverse, and we are multilingual. Allow me to close with a popular Haitian proverb “Men anpil, chay pa lou” many hands make the load light. No matter the weight of the challenges we face, BridgePrep Bulldogs will always work as a team to achieve greatness!
Dayana Octavien Philippi, Ed.D.
BridgePrep Academy of Collier
It's Always a Great Day to Be a Bulldog!