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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Continued complaints about Pasco principal to draw superintendent visit



Pasco County superintendent Heather Fiorentino plans to visit Hudson Middle School this week to learn more about peoples' views on the school's leadership, which has come under heavy criticism from staff

Fiorentino heads to Hudson Middle the same week that Travis Leonard, husband of demoted assistant principal Buffey Simon, complained to the School Board that principal Terry Holback remains at the school despite continuing problems that have left some teachers in tears. "Somebody needs to make a change. We shouldn't have to wait for a new superintendent to do that," Leonard said.

Just days earlier, School Board members requested and received copies of the United School Employees of Pasco climate survey from the school. Board chairwoman Joanne Hurley told Leonard that they would be looking more deeply into the issues detailed in the report, which suggested that few teachers had confidence in Holback.

Fiorentino, who has previously expressed support for Holback, said she planned to "go out there and talk" to staffers about the goings on -- much as she did after a groundswell of concerns arose at Connerton Elementary. She wouldn't say what the outcome could be. "I'm not going to second-guess before I go out there."

USEP president Lynne Webb, who conducted the climate survey, said she was pleased that the superintendent had decided to see for herself what the conditions are like at Hudson Middle.

"She probably should have done it last year," Webb said.

But Webb added that she didn't believe that Fiorentino's top secondary-level lieutenants ever made her fully aware of the discontent at Hudson Middle, despite several meetings involving the principal, union and district officials. "They just dug their heels in and said, 'She's a fine principal and there's nothing wrong,'" Webb said.

She looked forward to learning Fiorentino's action plan for Hudson Middle after her visit.  

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 2:44pm]


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