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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Change in leadership at Hillsborough Education Foundation


We don't know everything about Bill Hoffman's resignation as president of the Hillsborough Education Foundation. 

But we do know that he's leaving, at least as soon as they find a replacement.

He and the board seemed to be moving in different directions, he told them in his letter. “I have enjoyed my time there, but I feel it is time to move on,” he said Wednesday.

With two grown children and a third still in school, Hoffman, 55, has worked at the foundation almost 9 years. Before that, he said he spent 24 years with Associated Marine Institute, a Tampa-based nonprofit that runs programs for at-risk teens.

The foundation, housed in West Tampa's historic Centro Espanol, raises about $5-million a year to pay for things that taxes don't cover. Its board consists of business leaders, educators and high-ranking school district officials.

Its many endeavors include career training, Nature’s Classroom in Thonotasassa, and yearly awards ceremonies including Teacher of the Year.

Not only that: The foundation provides free school supplies for low-income schools through Teaching Tools, a struggling organization that it acquired several years ago.

And it is the fiscal agent for Empowering Effective Teachers, the ambitious training and assessment program funded by Bill and Melinda Gates.

Chairman Mike Poland said the organization is firmly in support of the Gates project. Like Hoffman, he declined to elaborate on reasons for Hoffman’s departure, which he called amicable.

“Bill is a valuable leader and we wish him well,” Poland said.

In a prepared statement, Poland added, "As we refine our strategic focus to accommodate the critical needs of Hillsborough's K-12 students and teachers, we plan to bring in a new leader that will continue to work with the business community and our other partners to support public education in areas that significantly impact student lives and the community as a whole."

Board member Sol Fleischman, Jr., an architect; and former board member Brian Keenan, a banker; both were surprised to learn of Hoffman’s resignation.

“I thought he was doing a good job in giving support for the school system and the teachers,” said Keenan. “He’s a very good leader and communicator, easy to work with.”

Fleischman, who hired Hoffman back when he was chairman, said, “He did a fabulous job for us for many years.”


[Last modified: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 7:48pm]


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