LAND O'LAKES — Despite proposals to honor beloved former educators, the Pasco School Board stuck with geography Tuesday when naming its newest high school.
They called the high school, next to Paul R. Smith Middle in Holiday, Anclote High.
"It's close to the Anclote River and Anclote Park," said board member Marge Whaley, who recommended the name.
Vice Chairman Frank Parker supported Whaley's motion, saying he preferred to keep with the tradition of naming high schools after locations rather than people. His first choice, he added, would have been Holiday High.
"Out in the community, I've heard negative (comments) for Holiday High," said Chairwoman Kathryn Starkey, who joked that she had been leaning toward Food, Friends and Fun High for the school that until now had been called FFF.
"You don't think of high school as a holiday," Parker said.
Some people surely do, board member Allen Altman said, grinning.
"Well, those that caught on we saw at adult graduation," Parker said, just before the unanimous vote for the name.
In other business, the board told the administration it supported strict enforcement of the district's advertisement policy to ban political candidate ads from high school football programs.
The issue came up after Stephen Donaldson, the Democratic candidate for schools superintendent, sent a letter to Mitchell High principal Ric Mellin complaining that his campaign ad had been removed from Mitchell's printed program.
Mellin sent the letter to assistant superintendent Jim Davis, who asked board attorney Dennis Alfonso for advice.
Alfonso said district policy gives principals wide latitude over ads in school publications, and also that it aims to limit partisanship. Further, he said, the Florida High School Athletic Association has rules that ban political ads, although they say a candidate might sponsor a team.
Violating the FHSAA rule could result in team disqualification, Alfonso noted.
"We don't want football programs to be a venue for politics." Davis said.
School Board members supported Davis' interpretation of the rules and instructed him to pass the message to all principals. Donaldson, whose slogan is "Education, Not Politics," said in his letter that he plans to "submit this breach of contract to the Florida Elections Commission for clarification."
Donaldson faces incumbent Heather Fiorentino on Nov. 4.
Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.