Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clements re-elected president of Hillsborough teachers union

TAMPA — Jean Clements was re-elected as president of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association in a contest that was, in part, a referendum on Hillsborough's education reform efforts.

Clements got 54 percent of the vote, according to union executive director Stephanie Baxter-Jenkins.

Joseph Thomas got 29 percent. Leo Haggerty got 17 percent.

About 2,000 votes were cast, amounting to 21 percent turnout, which is about normal, Baxter-Jenkins said.

This is the fifth election victory for Clements, who turned 56 this month and has worked for the school district since 1979.

Coming from a background in special education, she's been president of the organization since 2002 and collaborated closely with the district on the Gates-funded Empowering Effective Teachers project.

EET, as school officials call it, is a seven-year plan to revamp the way teachers are evaluated, mentored and paid. Since the district won the $100-million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the rest of the state has been ordered to adopt similar measures. These include the use of student test data and, in Hillsborough, peer evaluations to help assess teacher performance. The overall objective is to reward the best teachers, regardless of seniority, and encourage those who do not measure up to leave the profession.

Clements' work with the Gates initiative has given her a national profile. Critics have accused her of being too close to the administration, to the detriment of teachers who object to the new evaluation system. Clements, in her defense, said she can advocate for teachers more effectively if she has a productive working relationship with the superintendent and those running the Gate project.

Haggerty, 58, is active in the union and was part of the leadership team that developed Empowering Effective Teachers, but has spoken out against the initiative in its current form. Thomas, 43, had no union experience. He emerged last year as a voice for those who resented the Gates project when he rejected his peer evaluator, calling him unqualified because he taught a different age group.

Both Haggerty and Thomas teach social studies, one at Wharton High and the other at Newsome High.

Clements re-elected president of Hillsborough teachers union 02/22/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 5:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help


    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  2. Seminole Heights murders: fear and warnings, but no answers


    TAMPA — Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan elicited loud gasps from the crowd of about 400 who showed up at Edison Elementary School on Monday night to learn more about the string of unsolved killings that have left the southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood gripped by fear.

    Kimberly Overman, left, comforts Angelique Dupree, center, as she spoke about the death of her nephew Benjamin Mitchell, 22, last week in Seminole Heights. The Tampa Police Department held a town hall meeting Monday night where concerned residents hoped to learn more about the investigation into the three shooting deaths over 11 days in southeast Seminole Heights. But police could give the crowd at Edison Elementary School few answers. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  3. Juvenile justice reform seen as help for teen car theft problem


    ST. PETERSBURG — One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations has decided to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year.

    One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations, Faith & Action for Strength Together (FAST), voted Monday night to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year. FAST believes civil citations could help Pinellas County?€™s teen car theft epidemic by keeping children out of the juvenile justice system for minor offenses. [ZACHARY T. SAMPSON  |  Times]
  4. U.S. general lays out Niger attack details; questions remain (w/video)


    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Special Forces unit ambushed by Islamic militants in Niger didn't call for help until an hour into their first contact with the enemy, the top U.S. general said Monday, as he tried to clear up some of the murky details of the assault that killed four American troops and has triggered a nasty …

    Gen. Joseph Dunford said much is still unclear about the ambush.
  5. Trump awards Medal of Honor to Vietnam-era Army medic (w/video)


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday turned a Medal of Honor ceremony for a Vietnam-era Army medic who risked his life to help wounded comrades into a mini homework tutorial for the boy and girl who came to watch their grandfather be enshrined "into the history of our nation."

    WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 23:  Retired U.S. Army Capt. Gary Rose (L) receives a standing ovation after being awarded the Medal of Honor by U.S. President Donald Trump during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House October 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. Rose, 69, is being recognized for risking his life while serving as a medic with the 5th Special Force Group and the Military Assistance Command Studies and Observations Group during ‘Operation Tailwind’ in September 1970. Ignoring his own injuries, Rose helped treat 50 soldiers over four days when his unit joined local fighters to attack North Vietnamese forces in Laos - officially off limits for combat at the time.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) 775062921