Angela Flora moved to the Rail City from Missoula, Mont. just in time to start her freshman year at Reed High School. That was in the summer of 1985. Now, 27 years later, she’s got a son just starting his freshman year of high school and she’s still calling Sparks home.
A lot has happened in the two-plus decades since Flora moved to the Truckee Meadows, but she’s glad she did. In 1995, Flora received her graduate degree in speech pathology from the University of Nevada. She took a job with the Boise, Idaho school district, but nine months later, finishing the school year, she packed up and moved back to Sparks.
“Sparks still feels like a small town,” Flora said. “We have great schools. You can go into Jack’s Cafe and a person there will know somebody in your family. I think Sparks is very friendly. I like the events in the area. My whole family is here and we have ties to the community. It just feels like home and that’s because it is.”
Flora, 41, graduated from Reed in 1989 after competing in volleyball, basketball and track at the east Sparks school. She went on to run track briefly at Nevada, then got her bachelor’s degree and masters degree from UNR. She has a husband, Rick, and two children, Jarod, 14, and Alycia, 11.
Upon returning to Sparks in the mid 90s, Flora hooked on with the Washoe County School District as a speech pathologist. She did that until 2001 and then began work as a special education consultant for the district until 2008. Next up on her career growth chart was a stop as an assistant principal at Marvin Moss and Donner Springs elementary schools.
This past summer, Flora took over the principal job at Sparks’ Lincoln Park Elementary School. It’s been a rewarding experience and she said she wouldn’t change a thing along her occupational string, adding its all gotten her to where she is, happy at Lincoln Park.
“I wouldn’t change anything,” she said. “I love my job. I love working with kids, getting to know families, getting to know my teachers and helping the teachers provide the best instruction for kids.
“I think being a principal is what I expected. I knew when I was working at the district level that I wanted to get back into the schools. I tell people everyday, ‘I have the best job in the world.’ I get to interact with kids and make positive change. Our teachers are phenomenal. They are working toward the best interest of the kids. To see all the little smiles on the kids, I just love it. It’s busy and crazy hard. But I love it.”
Flora admits that being the principal is a much harder gig than being an assistant. She says the paperwork and administrative duties can seem overwhelming at times, but she always knows how to cure that feeling.
“There are days when it seems like a lot, but when it does, I go into the classrooms,” she said. “I watch the kids learning and watch all the good stuff going on in our building and that reminds me why I’m here, for the kids. I want to make a difference in the kids’ lives. I want to help them eventually get ready to graduate and get ready for life. No matter what comes through my door, I remember what it’s all about, the kids. If I know that I’ve made this a safe and good place for our kids, I can handle anything that’s coming at me.”
Being an athlete at Reed and then UNR, Flora still likes to stay active. She enjoys running and mountain biking. Last weekend, she ran the Nike half marathon through the streets of San Francisco. Flora said it was a surreal experience.
“It was awesome, phenomenal. Can I use more superlatives,” she quipped. “It was a great course with great volunteers and great organization. It was just a great event and at the end, firefighters gave you a Tiffany necklace, so that was pretty cool, too.”
— FLORA’S FAVORITES —