Many Pasco school leaders seek top district jobs
Pasco assistant superintendent for secondary schools Tina Tiede has kept a hectic pace for months, overseeing the district's middle and high schools almost single-handedly since Jim Davis abruptly retired over winter break.
Two weeks ago, the School Board approved a new position, that of executive director of secondary education, to give her a hand. One of the prerequisites for consideration was that a candidate must have been a principal.
There's been no shortage of principals to seek the post. Eight Pasco school leaders have applied. They are Chris Dunning (Smith Middle), Steve Van Gorden (Zephyrhills High), Steve Knobl (Gulf High), Monica Ilse (Anclote High), Pat Reedy (Pasco High), Ray Bonti (Wiregrass Ranch High), Chris Christoff (Crews Lake Middle) and Beth Brown (John Long Middle). Two outside candidates — Larry Sykes, principal of Hillsborough's Ferrell Middle, and Felicia Moss, principal of Passage Christian Academy in Archer, FL — also have applied.
The district's director of elementary education, which the board said also should include principal experience, has drawn a smaller field, with only two local principals applying. They are Dunning and Tom Barker of Shady Hills Elementary. The remaining four applicants are from out of county. This position has been vacant since David Scanga was promoted to assistant superintendent a few years ago.
The group applying to replace Renee Sedlack, who's retiring as human resources director, is a more broad field that includes teachers, principals and even retired HR officials from outside businesses and school systems.
Superintendent Heather Fiorentino and her team have been conducting interviews, and expect to offer recommendations soon to the School Board. The selections could lead to a domino effect that results in several new leaders around the district by the time classes begin in August. Stay tuned.