Principals of Clearwater Fundamental, Largo Middle to swap
The principals of two starkly different Pinellas County middle schools are slated to swap roles just two months into the school year.
Clearwater Fundamental principal Linda Burris and Largo Middle principal Stephanie Joyner will switch roles on Oct. 16, pending School Board approval at Tuesday's meeting.
Reached Friday, Joyner said she spoke to Pinellas school superintendent Mike Grego "about making some changes." She declined to elaborate because she said it was personal.
Joyner addressed families in her farewell letter sent Friday with a heavy heart. "At this point, I believe it is time to pass the baton to another sitting principal to take the helm at Largo Middle School to continue the path to greatness," she wrote.
Burris wrote in her letter to families sent Wednesday that she was offered the position at Largo Middle and decided to accept the opportunity.
"As you can imagine, the decision to transfer to another school after the start of the school year has weighed heavy on my mind, but in the end, I feel that this is the right decision in my professional career," she said. Burris declined to comment.
The Pinellas County school district has yet to provide a reason why the swap is taking place after the start of the school year. Spokeswoman Lisa Wolf said no documentation was available because "the process was completed through meetings." Principal changes usually occur beginning in May and throughout the summer.
Clearwater Fundamental is one of the top performing schools in the district, with a straight-A track record going back to 2002. Largo Middle has received two consecutive D grades and is under state turnaround status.
Burris and Joyner came to their respective schools in 2013. Burris, 47, has worked in Pinellas schools since 1997. She previously serves as an assistant principal at Thurgood Marshall Fundamental.
Joyner, 48, began working in the district in 1994. She was the director of middle school education and had served as an assistant principal at Pinellas Secondary School.