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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Principals at troubled Pinellas high schools to stay, Janssen says

Pinellas County Schools superintendent Julie Janssen said she plans to keep the same principals at D-rated Boca Ciega and Dixie Hollins high schools during the 2010-11 school year -- unless the state says otherwise.

With FCAT scores delayed and state-issued school grades in limbo, Janssen told the School Board on Tuesday that she can't wait to make a decision about leadership on those two campuses, where the state is expected to step up oversight next year due to years of lackluster test results.

Paula Nelson, who has led Boca Ciega in Gulfport for four years, and Michael Bohnet, head of Dixie Hollins in St. Petersburg for six, have been uncertain about their job security since at least late April, when word escaped that the state had identified their schools and Lakewood High School as needing radical change in order to meet state standards.

Longtime Lakewood principal Dennis Duda announced his retirement about the same time, leaving the administration to name Osceola Middle Principal Bob Vicari to take his place.

Under state rules involving perpetually poor-performing schools, the district is usually required to make leadership and staffing changes on those campuses.

But Janssen said she had applied for a waiver and will assume Bohnet and Nelson will continue to be principal. All that could change, however, if the Florida Department of Education says no.

Rebecca Catalanello, Times staff writer


[Last modified: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 10:07am]


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