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Applications due in Pinellas County Schools superintendent search

The deadline is here.

Candidates for superintendent of Pinellas County Public Schools must have their applications in by 5 p.m. Monday. More than 30 people have already applied, including a handful who thought they were vying for a job as a construction superintendent.

The school board expects to name five finalists July 17, with help from the Florida School Boards Association. Executive director Wayne Blanton told the board that he expects a lot of applications at the last minute. The job pays $225,000 to $275,000.

So far, applicants include superintendents, though mostly from smaller school districts, an assistant university dean, a few headmasters and several familiar Florida faces.

Mike Grego, a former Hillsborough County Public Schools assistant superintendent and former Osceola County superintendent: He successfully steered Florida's request for a waiver from No Child Left Behind requirements and served for five months as Florida's interim chancellor for K-12 education. He was also tasked with handling the waiver request, which was granted by President Barack Obama earlier this year. Grego applied for the Pinellas superintendent spot once before in 2008, but instead took the job with Osceola County Public Schools. He left his post leading Osceola last year following published reports of a conflict with the school board chairwoman. Grego was also a finalist for Hillsborough's top job in 2005, when MaryEllen Elia was selected.

Dennis Thompson, former superintendent of Collier County Schools: He was Collier County Public Schools' superintendent for nearly four years, but left under rocky circumstances. After the Collier County School Board voted not to renew his contract, he sued the board for breach of contract. The suit was settled in March with the school district paying him about $120,000, according to the Naples Daily News. Thompson now lives in Rockford, Ill., where he once was superintendent, and he's working as a "private investor."

Wayne Alexander, assistant principal at Grasso Technical High School in Connecticut: He was ousted nearly three years ago as superintendent of Hernando County Public Schools. He had a two-year run, which ended 10 months early at the request of the School Board. Alexander also started looking for jobs before his contract was up because of a child custody dispute between his wife and her ex-husband. After leaving Hernando, he took a job with Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut, as both a special education director and teacher.

Irving Hamer, a former deputy superintendent of Memphis City Schools: His application neglected to mention his resignation from Memphis City Schools in March, after he was found to have violated that school district's sexual harassment code for making remarks about a secretary's breasts, according to the Commercial Appeal. The resume Hamer submitted said he still worked in Memphis. Hamer sent a new resume last week — with corrected dates of employment — after the Commercial Appeal wrote a story about his application. In an email to Pinellas school officials, he said the new resume reflected "minor editorial adjustments." Hamer also was a deputy superintendent for the Miami-Dade County School District between 2004 and 2006. He hasn't responded to calls for comment.

William Corbett, area superintendent of Pinellas County Schools: He has been in his current role, overseeing Area 2 with 28 schools, since August 2011. Before that, he was principal of Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School for about six years. With his application, he included letters of support from James Madden, deputy superintendent, and Michael Bessette, associate superintendent.

For a complete list of candidates, visit the Gradebook at tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook.

Staff writer Rebecca Catalanello contributed to this story. Cara Fitzpatrick can be reached at cfitzpatrick@tampabay.com, (727) 893-8846 or on Twitter @Fitz_ly.

Applications due in Pinellas County Schools superintendent search 06/30/12 [Last modified: Saturday, June 30, 2012 4:31am]
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