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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco's school choice committee to begin meeting



Before declaring all Pasco schools "schools of choice," superintendent Kurt Browning called his district's choice options "abysmal" and pledged to improve opportunities for children and parents.

He planned to have a proposal to the School Board by January.

With that self-imposed deadline fast approaching, Browning this week named his Educational Options Committee members, and scheduled their first meeting for Nov. 21. The group includes parents, educators, administrators, business leaders and, notably, three School Board members -- Allen Altman, Joanne Hurley and Alison Crumbley.

That's a majority of the board, meaning any proposal the panel makes or idea it backs could arrive at the board table with an up or down vote already set, before the other two have had any input.

Browning has said the committee is strictly advisory, and that he will make his own recommendations after getting input. He said he has several concepts in mind, including magnets, and acknowledged that he could move ahead without a committee, much like other superintendents do when implementing new academic programs. But he stressed the need to have community buy-in, so the district creates what people want and need.

Committee members from the community are: parents Lori Schuller (Hudson Middle), Candace Tarvin (Sunray Elementary), Carol Donlon (Gulf High), Lynn Graniero (Gulf High), Melanie Calvo (Rushe Middle), Heidi Busot (Sunlake High), Leann Spruell (Double Branch Elementary), Jennifer Gibbs (San Antonio Elementary), Les Stearns (Odessa Elementary), Christine Wilder (Stewart Middle) and Tami Bentley (Pasco High); and businessmen Gary Cucchi (Florida Educator Insurance), Peter Buczynsky (Micron PharmaWorks), Ben Alexander (Balloon Distractions).

District employees on the committee are: teacher Donna Fulton (Mitchell High); assistant principal Jessica Meek (Hudson High); principals Lee-Anne Yerkey (Sunray Elementary), Brandon Bracciale (Weightman Middle) and David LaRoche (Hudson High); and district administrators Rob Aguis (career-technical), Darrell Huling (curriculum), Brian Dean (curriculum), Lauren Burdick (curriculum) and Amelia Larson (assistant superintendent).

Because the committee has three board members, its sessions will be open to the public. The first session is set for 2-4 p.m. Nov. 21 in the School Board meeting room.

[Last modified: Friday, November 8, 2013 8:49am]


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