Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco County School Board members want Superintendent Heather Fiorentino to explain her "new direction"

LAND O'LAKES — Pasco County schools Superintendent Heather Fiorentino has remained steadfastly silent in the wake of her decision to dismiss well-regarded Assistant Superintendent Ray Gadd and take the district in "a new direction."

Dismayed School Board members expect Fiorentino to break her silence today and explain where she sees the district headed. Otherwise, some caution, they might move to derail her plan until they feel comfortable with it.

"I don't see how we can move forward with any action if we don't know which direction we're moving in," board member Kathryn Starkey said, suggesting the superintendent's non-school administrative reappointments might need closer scrutiny before the board votes on them. "You don't vote on things and get the plan afterward."

Board chairman Frank Parker acknowledged that the superintendent holds the upper hand legally in naming employees to hold jobs in the school district. Still, he said, the board has the authority to control the positions that are available for filling.

"That's where our direction would be, positions but not names in the positions," he said.

If Fiorentino isn't forthcoming with her intentions for the administration, he said, the board might choose to revisit the job allocations it approved earlier in June. "Once we see what she has to say, then we can move forward on it, one way or the other," Parker said.

Most important is to focus on the future and what's best for the Pasco school system, its students and employees, board vice chairman Allen Altman said. If the superintendent has a vision to move the district ahead, he continued, she needs to share it.

"I'm assuming that she will not expect us to act on something without having some indication of a long-term plan, and she will share that with us," Altman said.

Starkey did not share his optimism.

"I don't think she's going to reveal (her ideas) at this board meeting," Starkey said.

She is scheduled to meet with Fiorentino before the session, and expects to restate her displeasure with the decision to dump Gadd and her need to have more details before approving the administrative structure.

"The board's hands are somewhat tied in there's not much we can do about Ray," Starkey said. "But the School Board is the head of this district, and the superintendent is the administrator of the School Board's policies. Certainly, the direction that the district heads is within the School Board's prerogative."

She and Altman also have asked for clarification on Fiorentino's application of policies on employment of retired educators. The issue has come up because Fiorentino has refused to allow longtime Pasco High assistant principal Robin Futch serve another year in the post after retiring, while earlier this year naming retired principal Cindy Harper to lead Centennial Elementary.

Altman said he has not gotten a clear answer on that matter, while Starkey said she hoped the rules would be applied fairly and equally for all.

Fiorentino continued to decline comment on the reappointments. Board members Joanne Hurley and Cathi Martin could not be reached.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at solochek@sptimes.com or (813) 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.

Pasco County School Board members want Superintendent Heather Fiorentino to explain her "new direction" 06/15/09 [Last modified: Monday, June 15, 2009 9:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas licensing board executive director settled hundreds of cases without getting his board's approval

    Local Government

    By Mark Puente

    Times Staff Writer

    Eleanor Morrison complained to the Pinellas licensing board in 2015 that her contractor installed crooked walls and windows and poured too much concrete for her carport.

    Eleanor Morrison poses at her home in Treasure Island, 5/26/17. Morrison filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and later learned that its former Executive Director, Rodney Fischer, dismissed the case in a private meeting with the contractor.
  2. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    Minnesota Twins pitching coach Neil Allen jogs back to the dugout after paying starting pitcher Tyler Duffey a visit on the mound in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  3. Swan sculpture deputies say was stolen by naked man found near Lakeland pond

    Crime

    A $25,000 swan sculpture that Polk County sheriff's deputies say was stolen by a naked man last weekend was found near a pond in Lakeland on Thursday.

    A swan sculpture that was stolen in Lakeland on May 19 was recovered by the Polk Sheriff’s Office on Friday.
  4. Mayor Rick Kriseman says election is about moving forward

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman christened his campaign office  Friday evening by telling his supporters that the mayoral election was about moving forward, not backward..

    Mayor Rick Kriseman says mayoral election is about inclusiveness Friday at campaign office rally
  5. Mulberry teens, 15 and 18, killed when cars collide at Plant City intersection

    Accidents

    MULBERRY — The local high school has an enrollment of 1,000 but to some it feels like a tight-knit family. Many of Mulberry High School's students have spent all of their school days within the city limits, said principal Michael Young.

    Pepe Salgado, 18, Frinzi’s brother, died at the hospital.