Cynthia Fuller is the Head of School (HOS) at Holy Nativity Episcopal School (HNES) in Panama City, Florida. HNES is a preschool through eighth-grade school serving the needs of 289 students. The historic school building was built in 1937 and is greatly enjoyed by the community. HNES was created in 1959 by the Holy Nativity Episcopal Church members. HNES has been a fully accredited private school with the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS) since 1993. Cynthia joins a long list of beloved HOS.
Cynthia was born in Dothan, AL. but moved to Bay County when she was three, growing up on the west end of Panama City Beach. She left in 2002 to finish her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. In 2004 she graduated Magna Cum Laude with her BA in Criminal Justice with a plan to continue her education in law school. She and her husband, Michael, returned to Panama City to lay roots and begin their family. It was after the birth of her first child, son Brody, that she realized she had a passion for education and helping children be the best they can be. Her second child, daughter Sydney, only reaffirmed that desire.
In 2011, Cynthia began the process of obtaining her teaching certificate. In 2013, with a certificate in hand, she was hired as a teacher at HNES and has worked happily with the school ever since. While at HNES, she obtained her Master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration in 2020 with an honors designation. Cynthia is also a graduate of the Bay County Chamber’s Leadership Bay Program and was appointed by the Bay County Commission to serve on the county’s Park and Recreation Advisory Board. In the summer of 2020, she was a speaker at the Alabama Independent School Association (AISA) conference for a session titled Navigating Trauma as a New Head of School. In 2022, she was recognized by Nationwide Registries Women of Distinction as the top representative for the State of Florida in Educational Leadership. She has served as Co-Chair on a number of FCIS accreditation teams.
After three years in the classroom at HNES, Cynthia was promoted to Dean of Students in 2016. Her clear love of the school and its students, along with her passion and drive are what led her, in February of 2020, to be named Head of School. It wasn't long after that COVID19 necessitated school closures and moved learning to a completely virtual space. Cynthia spent every minute of the shutdown and beyond preparing for her tenure as Head of School, while navigating a national pandemic. For HNES, this was the second crisis in two years. Bay County was hit by Hurricane Michael, a category five hurricane, and was still in the process of rebuilding the school. As one of the administrators on campus, she worked closely with the prior Head of School, Mrs. Judy Hughes, in the rebuild and recovery process. Holy Nativity Episcopal School is fully accredited with the Florida Council of Independent Schools. During Cynthia’s first year as Head of School, HNES successfully completed its five-year re-accreditation process. This re-accreditation was achieved in spite of a hurricane and a pandemic.
To know Cynthia is to know her deep commitment to serving the well-being of all students. She prioritizes the education, safety and needs of all 289 students in her care as well as their families. She doesn’t let anything override those priorities and her desire for the continued success of all who walk the HNES halls.