SBOE member Donna Callaway resigns
Donna Callaway, the state Board of Education member best known for her opposition to the state's new science standards, has resigned to become a middle school principal in Tallahassee again.
"I have always held a special love for Raa Middle School, and I am thrilled to accept this unique opportunity to return to the school where I was able to positively influence students on a daily basis," she said in a press release sent out by the Department of Education this morning. "Having direct connection with students and teachers allows me to continue the education successes our state has achieved in these last several years."
Callaway previously served as principal at Raa from 1994 to 2004.
Appointed by former Gov. Jeb Bush in 2006, Callaway's term was set to expire at the end of 2009. Her decision to leave early gives Gov. Charlie Crist a chance to expand his influence on the 7-member board, where he has so far appointed two members. Bush appointed the rest.
Callaway backed Bush's accountability efforts and spoke passionately about the need to help at-risk kids. But she generated far more attention in the recent debate over Florida science standards, saying evolution "should not be taught to the exclusion of other theories of origin of life."
In a statement, Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith praised Callaway's "professionalism, wisdom and candor in education policy matters."
"Her decision to return to Raa Middle School in Tallahassee, Fla., is a true testament to her commitment to the students of Florida," he said.
- Ron Matus, state education reporter