CEO heads back to school, helps change the lives of students

West Tampa Elementary School Principal Kevin Kastner and the president of PrimeGroup Insurance, Ed Ellsasser, are proud of the mural on the back wall at the school. 

"The mural says ‘work hard and be nice,’" said Principal Kastner. "That's all we ask of our kids. We want them to come here. We want them to work hard. We want them to be nice to one another and that they can achieve anything that they want." 

Ellsasser is part of CEOs in Schools, a group of business executives that volunteer their time and treasure to help students succeed. 

"The reason that I've taken the time is because I wanted to make a difference here at the school," he explained.

And it’s been a big difference, according to Principal Kastner.

"He's allowed his employees to participate in out PTA. He's funded a lot of our staff and employees’ lunches. He's provided gift cards for raffles for employee motivation. He's purchased books for classrooms."

Ellsasser and his employees volunteer all year at the school. They even organized the PTA.  

"For us to do a small part in that is fulfilling to me and I'm glad that we can help." 

The year-old program is making a positive impact at the schools. 

"Having just a little bit of extra financial support and people who are just willing to come by and offer a different perspective is really important," offered Principal Kastner. 

Ellsasser says giving back to the community is a core value that businesses should have. 

"One of the reasons that I am in business is the more I can grow my business, the more I can give back to the community." 

The program's goal is to have 400 executives to participate in the program.  They need 40 more to reach that.