As principal of Woodmont Charter School in Temple Terrace, Steve Epstein is not only shaping the lives of his three sons, Brett, Zach and Reid, but those of his students.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a dad?
The most rewarding part of being a father is having the opportunity to influence my children in a positive way. I feel spending quality time with them is important. My time with them is limited, as I only see them every other weekend, but it’s quality not quantity of time that matters. Being that the boys are nine years apart, it is even more interesting to see how they grow to be individuals, yet bond with each other. My boys have grown to be not only great sons but great brothers. They teach me as much as I hope I teach them.
What is your favorite thing to do with your kids?
Anything! Just being with them. We try to find different parks to go swing on the swings or go down the slides. We love swimming in the pool or even just watching a movie. But popcorn is a must! We just enjoy our time together no matter what the activity of the day.
What is the most challenging part of fatherhood?
I would definitely have to say balancing all aspects of life. I have learned a lot over the past year. Regardless of age, letting my boys know I am here for them. As parents we are competing with so much these days. We must make the time for the ones we love.
What role model in your life influenced the kind of father you are?
My parents were and are my role models. My father passed away when I had just entered my teenage years. My mom then took on a dual role as parent. I feel like I have taken the best attributes of both my parents.
As a father, how do you view your responsibilities?
My main responsibility is taking care of my boys in all facets of their life: education, needs, safety, accountability and, of course, wants. It is our job as parents to guide our children to grow to be successful and productive in their life. Support them in the decisions they make and be there when needed.
What advice would you give other fathers?
Be a dad! Seize all the opportunities you can. As I stated earlier, it is about quality of time spent with our children.
It is often difficult to balance a career with spending time with your family. How do you deal with this and make time for them?
This has been my biggest growth opportunity. I am still learning. When I have my boys, it is our time to be together and my focus is on them.
What is something people don’t know about you?
My therapy and release is riding my motorcycle. No, I don’t do it to let the wind run through my hair. I have none.
What is your biggest fear?
Not being successful in family and life. Not being there for my boys.
What makes you happy?
My boys, family and friends. I enjoy being with people.
Where is your favorite place to go in Tampa?
Busch Gardens, Bucs and Rays Games, the beach – there is so much to do here! Of course, sharing these activities with my boys.