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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Seminole High teacher: The mortgage made me do it



Pinellas School Board members are scheduled to vote Tuesday on a recommendation to fire a Seminole High teacher accused of working at her second job on school time and then falsifying her time card.

When school officials noticed that Amie Dunn was frequently absent from work, they asked the district’s Office of Professional Standards to investigate. OPS confirmed that Dunn also works as an instructor at St. Petersburg College, and as part of her duties there, is required to conduct intern observations in various Pinellas elementary schools.

Unfortunately for Dunn, the elementary day coincides with the high school day.

An OPS administrator compared Seminole's staff sign-out roster to the sign-in sheets used at each elementary school and found that on 10 occasions, Dunn had called in sick but had signed in at an elementary school to conduct her observations. On some of those days, district documents show, she collected sick pay.

Records also show that on three occasions, Dunn conducted observations at elementary schools at times she should have been teaching but did not inform her supervisors she had left campus.

In a meeting with her lawyer and an OPS official, Dunn said she was having financial difficulties and was just trying to earn enough money to pay her mortgage. She added that her students at Seminole High were not cheated out of their education because she always had her class covered and left excellent lesson plans.

Donna Winchester, Pinellas education reporter

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:31am]


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