Seven Oaks Elementary principal job draws large applicant pool
There's a big group of hopefuls seeking to take over Pasco County's Seven Oaks Elementary School next year, including the leader of embattled Lacoochee Elementary School, where all instructional staff were recently dismissed and required to reapply if they wished to remain there.
Shirley Ray, who left her assistant principal post at Seven Oaks in 2011 to take over Lacoochee, is one of 13 applicants to run Seven Oaks, which serves a upper-middle class Wesley Chapel suburb. She's the only current district principal in the candidate pool. Ray also has reapplied for her job at Lacoochee.
She was a favorite among many parents while at Seven Oaks, and some have said they would gladly have her back when B.J. Smith, who has run Seven Oaks since it opened, retires at the end of the year.
Others vying for the job include assistant principals Tracey Bruno (Weightman Middle), Jennifer Heptig (Lake Myrtle Elementary), Claudia Steinacker (Connerton Elementary), Christina Twardosz (Wesley Chapel Elementary), Heather Wallen (Centennial Elementary) and Rebecca Younglove (Cotee River Elementary). Five out-of-county applicants including the superintendent of a small Illinois school district also are on the list.
Superintendent Kurt Browning has yet to schedule interviews for the position.