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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Former Hillsborough schools chief wants state job



Earl_lennard2_2 Former Hillsborough Superintendent Earl Lennard is applying to be Florida's next education commissioner. 

Lennard served as Hillsborough superintendent for nine years before retiring two years ago. He led the district during a time of record student growth, the end of three decades of court-ordered desegregation and the early years of the state's high-stakes school accountability movement. In 2002, he was named Florida's superintendent of the year.

"This is an opportunity to serve the state," Lennard said, noting that the leader of Florida's schools seemed like a job that "I have spent my life training for."

Lennard spent his 41-year education career in Hillsborough schools, working his way up from a classroom teacher into the administrative ranks. For much of his career, he concentrated on agricultural and technical education programs.

Lennard has kept a low profile since a brief bid in 2005 for a state Senate seat based in eastern Hillsborough. He dropped his candidacy barely a month after entering the race, saying he wanted to focus on personal interests that he had been putting off for years.

Now Lennard says he is enticed out of retirement by the opportunity to work with first-year Gov. Charlie Crist, the Legislature and the Board of Education.

For more information on the search, click here.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:19am]


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