Pasco principal resigns to take Pinellas administrative job
Lou Cerreta gave his staff at Cotee River Elementary the news early Tuesday: He's resigned his principal post effective May 20, to become director of professional development for Pinellas County schools.
"It's truly bittersweet," said Cerreta, who joined his school in 2011. "I love Cotee River. But there was an opportunity. It sounds very exciting."
In his new job, which the Pinellas School Board still must approve, Cerreta would oversee the training of aspiring leaders, organize teacher recruitment and lead staff development, among other duties. A long-time principal in both Hillsborough and Pasco counties, he has not worked at such a high district level before.
Pasco officials have considered him a rising star, tagging him for advisory groups on a regular basis. He's also won praise for his decision to deemphasize the high stakes of testing for his students, while still making gains in most areas.
Cerreta said he plans to return to Cotee River to see off the fifth graders at the end of the year. But he plans to begin work in Pinellas on May 21. The Pasco school district, meanwhile, has wasted no time in seeking his replacement. The job advertisement for a new principal went up before noon Tuesday, with an application deadline of May 5.