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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Sand Pine Elementary School gets its second-ever principal

Cluff Ever since its doors opened more than a decade ago, Sand Pine Elementary School in Wesley Chapel has known just one principal -- Ginny Yanson.

But Yanson retires in July. So new leadership was inevitable.

In a rare move, superintendent Heather Fiorentino has promoted the school's assistant principal, Todd Cluff, to serve as the school's new leader.

"He is phenomenal," Fiorentino said of Cluff, who has worked at Sand Pine for the past 2-1/2 years after an 8-year stint as supervisor of professional development. "He's been ready to be a principal for a long time."

Cluff, who announced his promotion to the staff this morning, said he was humbled by the move. He said he looked forward to continuing the school's strong traditions and academics.

"They're willing to trust me," he said. "That speaks very profoundly to me about the responsibility."

In other principal moves, Fiorentino told the Gradebook that she would extend Centennial Elementary principal Cynthia Harper's contract for another year. Earlier in the school year, Fiorentino had suggested she would remove Harper because Harper had retired and come back only to help.

But Harper turned out to be "the right fit for that school," Fiorentino said, adding that Harper was not drawing a pension and a salary at the same time -- one of her initial concerns. "She's a great principal doing a great job," added assistant superintendent Dave Scanga. "And we need leaders."

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


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