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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco's F-rated Gulf Highlands Elementary loses its assistant principal



Shortly after learning it received an F from the state, Pasco schools superintendent Heather Fiorentino replaced Gulf Highland Elementary School's principal.

Now she's taken out the assistant principal, too.

On Thursday, Fiorentino moved Gulf Highlands assistant principal Dawn Scilex, considered a rising leader in the district, to Mary Giella Elementary School in a like position. She then advertised the Gulf Highlands position for applicants.

The transfer was not a punishment, assistant superintendent David Scanga told the Gradebook. Rather, it was designed to give Scilex a different school experience under a different leadership style as she prepares to become a principal some day, he said.

"We could have left her there easily enough," Scanga said, noting that Scilex and new principal Kara Smucker had begun working well together. "Moving her now is better for her."

At the same time, though, the change does allow Smucker to have more input into selecting her deputy in charge of turning around a failing school. Scanga said he had faith in Smucker and her ability to set the school on the right path.

"I'm not worried for Gulf Highlands in terms of getting the leadership they need," he said.

[Last modified: Thursday, July 28, 2011 3:19pm]


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