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Pinellas schools chief puts regional superintendent on paid leave

Pinellas regional superintendent Carol Thomas, left, has been placed on paid leave through June 30 by superintendent Julie Janssen, right.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times (2009)

Pinellas regional superintendent Carol Thomas, left, has been placed on paid leave through June 30 by superintendent Julie Janssen, right.

LARGO — Pinellas County public schools chief Julie Janssen placed a regional superintendent on paid leave Wednesday, a month after the educator, Carol M. Thomas, raised eyebrows on the School Board for her involvement with a for-profit company that makes teacher-management products.

Thomas was put on paid administrative leave through June 30 while an investigation is conducted, Janssen said in an e-mail.

The superintendent, however, did not reveal any details about the investigation.

"I am not at liberty to discuss the particulars," she wrote in the e-mail.

In 2009 she was paid $106,697.70.

An April 26 School Board meeting included a brief discussion by board members about Thomas' work with Enhancing Teacher Instructional Practice. On its website, the company says it uses technology to improve teacher and administrator performance.

The discussion centered around Thomas' request for the district to grant her legal ownership of the company and its products. According to School Board documents, Thomas maintains that she devised the company's products on her own time and without using school resources.

Board members pulled the item and referred it to Janssen, who did not mention Thomas' out-of-work activities in her e-mail Wednesday.

Thomas could not be reached for comment.

This story was changed to reflect the following correction: Carol M. Thomas is a regional superintendent for the Pinellas County School District. Her title was incorrectly reported.

Pinellas schools chief puts regional superintendent on paid leave 05/18/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 19, 2011 1:25pm]
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