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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Former Camden superintendent seeks Pinellas job; once faced investigation



Baggagepix_3 Pinellas’ national search for a new superintendent continues to attract candidates with serious baggage.

Last week, it was Maritza D. Tamayo, a former high school principal in New York City, who was fired in August 2007 after officials found she organized a Santeria ceremony in her conference room to rid the school of “negative energy.” The district also got an application from Mel Persi, who is suing his old district in New Jersey.

This week, meet Annette D. Knox, the former superintendent for the Camden, N.J., school system (2001 to 2006). Knox resigned in 2006 amid a criminal investigation over suspiciously high test scores at two elementary schools and allegations by a high school principal that he was pressured to falsify results on a state math test.


The investigation focused on $17,690 in bonuses Knox received based partly on the questionable test results. Also, the Camden school board said it hadn’t authorized or known about the bonus money.

As things were coming to head in the summer of 2006, New Jersey Gov. John Corzine vetoed a three-year contract for Knox that would have boosted her pay to $208,644. The governor called its perks and benefits unacceptable.

See some of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s coverage here and here, plus news of a state audit that did not speak well of Knox’s tenure. Also see Knox’s press release, in which she says she served Camden schools “with professionalism, diligence and integrity at all times and in all respects.”

Below are brief summaries on Knox and the 14 other candidates who have applied for Pinellas superintendent. The deadline for applications is July 11.

Annette D. Knox
Englewood, New Jersey
Current job: Executive coach for principals, New Leaders for New Schools, Washington, D.C., 2007-present.
Previous jobs: Consultant, Achieve3000, Lakewood, N.J., 2006-07; Camden schools superintendent, 2001-2006.
Education: Master of Science, remedial and corrective reading, City College of New York.
Application received: June 30.

Arthur W. Stellar
Taunton, Massachusetts
Current job: Superintendent, Taunton Public Schools.
Previous job: Chief education officer and vice president, Renaissance Learning, Inc., Madison, Wis., 2003-04
Education: Doctorate, education administration, Ohio University.
Application received: June 26.

Melindo A. Persi
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Current job: None listed.
Previous jobs: Interim superintendent, Brick Township, N.J., 2006-08; various superintendent and administratiave jobs in New Jersey, 1963-2006.
Education: Master’s degree, education, Rutgers University.
Application received: June 24.

Maritza D. Tamayo
Forest Hills, New York
Current job: None listed.
Previous job: Principal/assistant principal, Unity High School, New York, 1995-2007.
Education: Master’s degree, romance languages, The City Collge of New York; Professional diploma, school administration and supervision, St. John’s University.
Application received: June 23.

William R. Frank, III
Bel Air, Maryland
Current job: Special education principal, 2003-present.
Previous job: Elementary school principal with concurrent stint (1992-94) as superintendent.
Education: Master’s degree, education, Rutgers University.
Application received: June 20.

Willie C. Watts, Jr.
Akron, Ohio
Current jobs: Adjunct professor, Ashland University; education consultant; pastor; financial advisor, Primerica.
Previous job: Superintendent, Phoenix Village Academies, a group of public community schools, 2006
Education: Doctorate, educational administration, Pacific Western University; law degree, LaSalle University.
Application received: June 19.

James P. Hoover
Monaca, Pennsylvania
Current job: Chief executive officer of a distance learning charter school in Pittsburgh.
Previous job: School principal and technology coordinator, 1997-2006.
Education: Doctorate, education, University of Pittsburgh.
Application received: June 17

John J. Selch
New York, New York
Current job: Educational associate with the New York State Education Department. Previous job: President of the Science Council of New York, 2003 to 2007, and taught science in New York public schools for eight years.
Education: Post master’s work, school administration and supervision, Hunter College, City University of New York.
Application received: June 17.

Aquine Jackson
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Current job: Chief academic officer, Milwaukee Public Schools, responsible for increasing student performance and addressing the achievement gap.
Previous job: Office of Neighborhood Schools Director, Milwaukee Public Schools, responsible for adding 11,000 seats in overcrowded attendance areas.
Education: Doctorate, physical education, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Application received: June 9.

Roy L. Higgins
Matthews, North Carolina
Current job: Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools – principal, Right Choices Boot Camp program and Alternative to Long-term Suspension School.
Previous job: Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools – hearing officer for student due process hearings.
Education: Doctorate, educational leadership, South Carolina State University.
Application received: June 5.

Michael P.  Livovich, Jr.
Crown Point, Indiana
Current job: Owner/president of a school consulting business, Partners for Educational Reform
Previous job: Hanover (Indiana) Community School Corp.   superintendent of schools.
Education: Doctorate, educational leadership, Indiana State University.
Application received: June 3.

Rebecca S. Lowry
Dayton, Ohio
Current job: Dayton Public Schools – Assistant Superintendent for Student Support Services.
Previous job: Cleveland Municipal School District – Chief Academic Officer.
Education: Doctorate, counseling/student personnel services and management, Virginia Tech.
Application received: June 3.

Henry J. Hastings
Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan
Current job: Education consultant and policy advisor.
Previous jobs: Lawyer; commercial real estate and property manager; various teaching and lecturing positions.
Education: Doctorate, education, University of Michigan; law degree from Michigan State University.
Application received: June 3.

John R. Phillips
Isle of Palms, South Carolina
Current job: Claflin University (Orangeburg, S.C.)  - Interim dean in the School of Education and Director of University/School District Partnerships and Chair of the Graduate Education Program & Clinical Practice.
Previous job: Atlanta Public Schools – Executive director, Comprehensive Systemic School Reform, responsible for reform initiatives at 21 schools.
Education: Doctorate, education, St. Louis University.
Application received: June 3.

John H. Pertner
Key West, Florida
Current job: Independent contractor for Monroe County Schools, Accountability and Assessment Department.
Previous job: Principal, Marathon High School, Marathon, Fla.
Education: Doctorate (school not specified).
Application received: June 3.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:49am]


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