Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough's Pierce Middle School will change principals again

TAMPA — Anna Voida became principal of Pierce Middle School during a turbulent time for the school's special education department.

Less than eight months later she has retired, once again leaving the school in need of a principal.

Voida, 54, of Riverview, did not return a phone call on Wednesday.

She was named principal of Pierce on Nov. 14 when the district transferred principal Henry Lefler to Memorial Middle School. No reason was given for the change, but it occurred after a Pierce sixth-grader with learning disabilities left the campus unnoticed and walked 6 miles to his home on Oct. 29. Pierce's assistant principal later was transferred as well.

A school district employee since 1980, Voida joined Pierce after spending eight years at Shields Middle School in Ruskin, first as assistant principal and then principal.

She worked in exceptional education before that. She was teacher of the year at Roosevelt Elementary School in 1999.

After the student runaway in October, the district suspended exceptional education teacher Ingrid Peavy, saying she failed to follow a plan to keep the student from leaving campus. That prompted criticism from coworkers who said an effective plan for the child was not put in place until after the incident.

The investigation was handled by Child Protective Investigations, a unit of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office staffed by civilians who are supervised by law enforcement.

The district later launched its own investigation at the request of School Board member Cindy Stuart. That investigation is still under way, district spokesman Steve Hegarty said.

Social studies teacher Aron Zions, one of Peavy's supporters, said it was hard to judge Voida's effectiveness after such a short time on the job.

"I think she did a nice job, having to walk in behind all that was going on," Zions said. "Pierce is a tough school to work. It is very demanding of the faculty."

More than 90 percent of the students enrolled in the Town 'N Country school come from low-income families, with 31.2 percent learning English as a second language.

Marlene Sokol can be reached at (813) 226-3356 or sokol@tampabay.com.

Hillsborough's Pierce Middle School will change principals again 07/10/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 11:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In dollars: How valuable are Florida's university football programs?

    Business

    The University of Florida football program is valued in a new study at $682 million, making it the most valuable university team in the state but still worth far less than several college programs topping $1 billion. Four years ago, UF's program was valued at just under $600 million.

    The University of Florida football program is valued at  $682 million, making it the most valuable by far in the Sunshine State. Pictured are UF cheerleaders leading the crowd in a Gator cheer on Clearwater Beach last December during the Outback Bowl Beach Day on Clearwater Beach. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. After 22 years, it's last call for beloved Ybor venue New World Brewery

    Music & Concerts

    YBOR CITY — Steve Bird spreads his tools across a patio table. He has awnings to unbolt and paraphernalia to unpry, from the busted Bop City neon by the stage to the Simpsons "El Duffo o Muerte" mural in the courtyard. He'll uproot a fountain and dismantle a roof and attempt to keep his bar intact. The …

    Various decor and memorabilia fill the walls and shelves at New World Brewery in Ybor City.
Long time music venue and hangout New World Brewery in Ybor City will be closing it's doors and moving locations. Patrons enjoy one of the last events before New World Brewery changes its location to Busch Blvd in Tampa.  [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  3. Brooksville man dies of injuries suffered in crash

    Accidents

    BROOKSVILLE — A Brooksville man died Thursday after he was ejected from his all-terrain vehicle after a crash, authorities said.

  4. Florida bought more Pasta Passes from Olive Garden than almost any other state

    Food & Dining

    Floridians would like their bowls of pasta to never, ever end.

    Florida was the No. 2 state with the largest number of Olive Garden Pasta Pass purchases, an unlimited pasta pass for $100. Photo courtesy Olive Garden.
  5. Deputies searching for woman who went missing after leaving hospital

    Public Safety

    Hillsborough County deputies are seeking the public's help in locating a woman who went missing after being discharged from a hospital last month.

    Hillsborough County deputies are seeking the public's help in locating Melissa Bennett, 47, who went missing after being discharged from Florida Hospital in Tampa on Aug. 8. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]