Months after rape incident, Walker Middle School will get new principal
Updated 6 p.m.
TAMPA -- When Walker Middle School makes a fresh start in August, it will do so with a new principal.
Kathleen Hoffman, who led the school through its hardest spring following allegations of a brutal locker room rape, will retire this summer from the Hillsborough County schools.
Four students have pleaded not guilty to adult charges of sexual battery, accused of raping a 13-year-old classmate on four occasions at the school with a broom and hockey stick.
But Lewis Brinson, assistant superintendent for administration, said Hoffman had been considering retirement for some time, and her decision had nothing to do with the locker room incident.
"She told me it did not," Brinson said. "And I can only take her word for it."
Hoffman could not be reached for comment.
On Tuesday the School Board is slated to chose a successor to lead the Odessa school. Brinson said a replacement has not yet been chosen, with final interviews scheduled for Monday.
Among the candidates are eight assistant principals in the Hillsborough County school district, as well as a substitute teacher and another employee. Three principals from Pennsylvania and Georgia, as well as assistant principals from Ohio and Polk County, have also applied.
-- Tom Marshall, Times Staff Writer
Applicants to lead Walker Middle School
Chris Woolley, assistant principal, Greco Middle
Lespy Nelson, assistant principal, Rampello Middle
Kent Glover, assistant principal, Alonso High
Sandy Bailey, assistant principal, Burnette Middle
Kenneth Hart, assistant principal for administration, Madison Middle
Ross Boyd, assistant principal for curriculum, Monroe Middle
Connie Hicks, assistant principal, Dowdell Middle
Lucy White, assistant principal, Liberty Middle
Eric Palmu, substitute teacher
Donna Manco-Martin, principal, Pennsylvania
Cheryl Fox-Webber, Tarpon Springs
Abraham Hardee, assistant principal, Jewett Middle Academy, Polk County
Gregory Soos, assistant principal, Ohio
Mark Sanders, principal, Pennsylvania
Jill Dorsett, principal, Ohio