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Rock-star principal at downtown Tampa school turns busy car lines into concerts

Rampello K-8's Justin Youmans plays guitar to build "connections"
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Posted at 10:48 AM, Feb 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-08 12:48:28-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Justin Youmans, playing "Wonderwall" on his acoustic guitar, might look like a busker, a wandering troubadour, strumming the Oasis hit on a busy Tampa street.

And yes, in a way, he's all of those things.

But Youmans is also the principal at Rampello K-8 Magnet School in the heart of the Florida city's downtown.

What he's also doing is making the morning carline a whole lot more fun for students, parents and teachers.

"To me, connections with my students, connections with my families, is a crucial part of what we do," said Youmans. "It helps build trust."

Youmans is a self-taught guitarist who grew up in the 90s, playing along to Nirvana.

Now, he's playing to people who love and appreciate him for making the morning more bearable.

"The younger students will say to me, 'Mr. Youmans, you play guitar really well.' So, you know, it's good for my ego," he laughed.

The rock-star principal sprinkles his concerts throughout the week but usually comes out on Fridays.

But sorry, this is a private concert exclusively for those who call Rampello home.

This article was written by Sean Daly for WFTS.