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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

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

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:28am]


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