Sunday, June 24, 2018

Pinellas picks new schools police chief, special ed director

Luke Williams said he wanted to spend his retirement guiding young minority men to success. Now, he may have the opportunity to help thousands of them.

The Pinellas County school district has appointed Williams, 54, as the next Chief of Schools Police. If approved at Tuesday's School Board meeting, Williams will begin his job March 1.

Like his predecessor Rick Stelljes, whose retirement as school police chief is effective Feb. 28, Williams enjoyed a decades-long career with the St. Petersburg Police Department. He spent 32 years as a patrol officer, detective, sergeant, major, assistant chief of police and finally the assistant chief of police with the uniform services bureau without a single ding on his personnel file before he retired Jan. 26.

Williams would oversee an in-house police staff of about 20 in addition to contracted school resource officers and deputies from municipalities and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

The district advertised the position for four weeks and 42 applicants applied. Of those, two were interviewed.

Evelyn L. Mowatt, an assistant principal at Osceola Fundamental High School, has been named the new executive director of exceptional student education. Her predecessor, Sherry Aemisegger, was reassigned as a human resources director effective Jan. 8.

If approved Tuesday, Mowatt's job will begin her new role April 2.

Comments
On the campaign trail: For Hillsborough County School Board

On the campaign trail: For Hillsborough County School Board

These are the candidates who qualified Friday for the Hillsborough County School Board elections in August and November 2018.District 1, northwest Hillsborough and Town 'N Country:This is a special election to replace Susan Valdes, who resigned, effe...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Newcomers seek to topple incumbents in Pinellas School Board races

Newcomers seek to topple incumbents in Pinellas School Board races

Thirteen candidates will vie for four seats on the Pinellas County School Board this year, as the two hopefuls qualified just before Friday's noon deadline.Three incumbents, including the board's leader and vice chair, aim to keep their seats amid a ...
Published: 06/22/18
Seven candidates qualify for Hernando County School Board races

Seven candidates qualify for Hernando County School Board races

Seven candidates have lined up in races for three seats open on the Hernando County School Board, including incumbents Mark Johnson and Susan Duval.Johnson, who was elected to the board's District 1 seat in 2014, faces challenger ...
Published: 06/22/18
Ballot set for Pasco County School Board races

Ballot set for Pasco County School Board races

Ten candidates qualified to run for three Pasco County School Board seats as the ballot officially closed at noon Friday.All of them had announced their plans well in advance, and rumors of a last-minute hopeful never materialized.The District 5 race...
Published: 06/22/18
Ridgewood High saw little improvement in final year of state testing

Ridgewood High saw little improvement in final year of state testing

As Pasco County school district officials discussed converting Ridgewood High School into a technical school, some leaders kept asking one question: What if the school actually improved its academic performance, making the change unnecessary?The scho...
Published: 06/22/18
Florida education news: Pledge of Allegiance lawsuit, immigrant education, tutoring troubles and more

Florida education news: Pledge of Allegiance lawsuit, immigrant education, tutoring troubles and more

TAKE A KNEE: Lawyers for the Pasco County school district say students do not have an unqualified, clearly established right to kneel during the daily pledge to the flag, rebutting a family's lawsuit contending otherwise.SUMMER LEARNING: So...
Published: 06/22/18
Pasco County report cards going virtual

Pasco County report cards going virtual

Pasco County parents should not check the mailbox for their children's report cards this summer.The grades are coming online only.After months of planning, the district will release fourth-quarter report cards in the online MyStudent grading system, ...
Published: 06/21/18
Pasco school district rebuts family’s Pledge of Allegiance lawsuit

Pasco school district rebuts family’s Pledge of Allegiance lawsuit

Lawyers for the Pasco County school district say the principal of Wiregrass Elementary School and a first grade teacher there did nothing wrong in their treatment of a student who took a knee while his classmates recited the Pledge of Allegiance last...
Published: 06/21/18
Florida education news: Superintendents, test scores, school safety and more

Florida education news: Superintendents, test scores, school safety and more

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH: The Hernando County School Board quickly moves ahead in seeking a new district leader after dumping Lori Romano.BUDGET GAP: Pasco County school district leaders anticipate a budget shortfall as they work to meet new state ...
Published: 06/21/18
Florida education news: New candidates, school security and a suspended PTSA

Florida education news: New candidates, school security and a suspended PTSA

ELECTIONS: A former county official joins the race for a seat on Hernando County School Board, the Tampa Bay Times reports. • In Hillsborough County, one candidate for School Board changes parties and another changes races, the Tampa Bay Times ...
Published: 06/19/18