Disciplined Pasco teacher recognized among best in Florida
One week after his suspension for inappropriate comments to students, Pasco County high school English teacher Michael Maynard won high praise from the Florida Department of Education.
Maynard was one of 240 Pasco teachers deemed a "distinguished Florida educator" on Wednesday, based on the consistently strong performance of his students on state tests over the past three years. Pasco has nearly 5,000 teachers.
"Whether in a classroom where students arrived already high achieving, or a classroom in which students were underperforming, your efforts provide inspiration and opportunities to young people that may have been otherwise inaccessible," state education commissioner Pam Stewart wrote in a form letter to the designated teachers.
That assessment falls in line with the view that Maynard's supporters have put forth since learning of his removal from River Ridge High School and his subsequent leave of absence in lieu of a three-day unpaid suspension. While district officials have argued that students deserve better, noting the teacher's string of reprimands for language and comments, many of his students have lauded Maynard for challenging them to think in new ways and find success.
Maynard has not yet responded to requests for comment about his situation from the Gradebook. He did advise, though, that he will appear Tuesday at the Pasco School Board meeting, where members of the public are given 3 minutes to comment.