Troubled Hillsborough middle school gets new principal
TAMPA -- Hillsborough County school officials are turning to an experienced principal to lead troubled Walker Middle School.
Franklin Middle principal Joseph Brown was confirmed for a transfer to Walker by a unanimous vote at tonight's School Board meeting.
The Odessa school was roiled by controversy this spring after four teens were arrested and charged with the locker room rape of a 13-year-old boy on multiple occasions with a broom and hockey stick. Principal Kathleen Hoffman subsequently announced that she would retire.
Hoffman told the district her decision to step down had nothing to do with those incidents. The four boys have pleaded not guilty and been charged as adults.
Brown joined Hillsborough County schools in 1989 as a guidance counselor at McLane Middle School. He later served as a counselor and assistant principal at Monroe Middle before becoming principal of that school in 2002. He became principal at Franklin in 2006.
There were 15 applicants to replace Hoffman.
Tom Marshall, Times Staff Writer