Northeast High supporters show up to back principal
When supporters of former Northeast High principal Kevin Hendrick said they were not going down without a fight, they meant it.
About 20 sign-waving teachers, students and former students showed up outside Pinellas school district headquarters this morning to plead their case for Hendrick, who is being transferred to struggling Boca Ciega High. They said Hendrick deserves a chance to continue making progress at Northeast, which rose to a C grade last year after two years as a D. They also said the school deserves strong, consistent leadership after four principals in six years.
"I have not seen a graduating class with the same principal from start to finish," English teacher Tena Fajardo told the Gradebook.
Hendrick "made us feel a lot more like a school," added Grant Kemp, 18, who just graduated from Northeast. "He had a way of making us all feel like a team."
Kemp carried a sign with a quote from superintendent Julie Janssen: "If I'm trying to put anything new in place, people need to know I'm going to be he here for more than a year."
About 10 Northeast supporters filed into the board workshop when it began at 10 a.m. They were not on the agenda and not given an opportunity to speak. Instead, they stood in the corner until the board went into executive session about 11:30 a.m.
Northeast social studies teacher Michelle Dudley said the group would return after lunch and continue standing "just to make our presence known."