Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Board to hear teacher's complaints about ex-Gulf High principal

Tom Imerson was removed as principal of Gulf High School.

Tom Imerson was removed as principal of Gulf High School.

LAND O'LAKES — Superintendent Heather Fiorentino's removal of Gulf High principal Tom Imerson from his post created more questions than answers in the two weeks since the School Board approved the move.

Lacking an official explanation for Imerson's transfer to an unspecified district-level job, many people in the community have speculated that three Gulf High teachers' grievances against Imerson held the key. Fiorentino has rejected such commentary as idle chitchat, saying there's nothing she can do about rumors and that every principal has grievances against him or her.

The public soon will get to hear for itself whether there's any truth to the rumors.

School Board attorney Dennis Alfonso said Monday that he will ask the board today to set a date to hear the complaints of one Gulf High teacher, Vicky Mudry, who filed three grievances against Imerson in February. In them, Mudry alleges:

• Imerson interrupted her class to have her immediately attend a disciplinary meeting, at which she was subjected to "abusive behavior" without the opportunity to have union representation.

• After the initial disciplinary meeting, Imerson and his administration subjected Mudry to "increased, unfair, inequitable and inappropriate scrutiny" that she considered retaliatory.

• District administration failed to properly investigate Mudry's initial abuse complaint against Imerson.

Fiorentino has heard the cases, and United School Employees of Pasco president Lynne Webb said the union is asking for appeal dates "to preserve our time lines and deadlines. That doesn't mean that within the time in between we can't find a solution."

In her grievance, Mudry asked for Imerson's suspension. Webb said she did not know whether those complaints led to his removal, or whether his departure — effective June 9 — will make a difference in the case.

That said, she added, the union might continue to press for change at Gulf High even if the grievances don't go forward. Teacher representatives already have been in touch with incoming principal Steve Knobl to discuss problems with the working environment, and the USEP is compiling responses to its climate survey there.

"I believe there were problems at that school based upon information I have been provided from a large number of staff, and not just from the information from the grievance," Webb said.

School Board chairwoman Kathryn Starkey said she was not aware of the details in the grievance, and that she did not know why Fiorentino replaced Imerson or what he will be doing at the district office. She reiterated her hope that the end result will be better academic performance at Gulf High, one of the district's two D-rated high schools.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at or (813) 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at

Board to hear teacher's complaints about ex-Gulf High principal 05/19/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 23, 2008 11:39am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For Memorial Day, Breakfast Station wall pays tribute to those who served



    "I remember that day they came," Yvonne Benjamin recalled solemnly of a morning in April 1969.

    Yvonne Benjamin thought up the Wall of Honor at the Breakfast Station, where she has served “lots of veterans.”
  2. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return


    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  3. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits


    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  4. Assault charge may not sway voters in Montana election (w/video)


    BOZEMAN, Mont. — Republican multimillionaire Greg Gianforte won Montana's only U.S. House seat on Thursday despite being charged a day earlier with assault after witnesses said he grabbed a reporter by the neck and threw him to the ground.

    People fill out ballots for the special election to fill Montana's only U.S. House seat at the Montana Pavilion at MetraPark on Thursday in Billings, Mont. [Associated Press]
  5. Quiet college dropout turned bomber: Who was Salman Abedi?


    LONDON — He was quiet and withdrawn, a college dropout who liked soccer — and, some say, showed alarming signs of being radicalized years before he walked into a pop concert at Britain's Manchester Arena and detonated a powerful bomb, killing himself and 22 others.

    Salman Abedi was identified by British authorities as the man behind Monday’s attack.