Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Woman in Tampa school stalking case receives probation

Tracey Seenath was accused of stalking a principal and his wife. 

Tracey Seenath was accused of stalking a principal and his wife. 

TAMPA — Tracey Seenath, the former Hillsborough County School District clerk charged with stalking a principal and his wife after he ended their relationship, agreed Tuesday to serve four years of probation.

In exchange, her charges, which included a felony count, were reduced to four misdemeanor stalking offenses. The plea deal might have enabled her to return to work for the district, but she has resigned, according to district spokesman Stephen Hegarty.

Seenath, 40, agreed not to contact former Freedom High School principal David Sheppard or members of his family, or the family of his late wife, Donna Sheppard.

Donna Sheppard drowned nearly a year ago in the family swimming pool in what the Sheriff's Office concluded was a suicide. Her death came shortly after David Sheppard was investigated by the district about his relationship with Seenath, and subsequently resigned as principal.

Sheppard and Seenath worked together previously at Wharton High School, where he was an assistant principal and she was a guidance secretary.

For more than a year after Sheppard ended their relationship, Seenath sent texts and emails to Sheppard expressing her distress about the outcome. She also wrote about the relationship and sent the information to neighbors, other district employees and Donna Sheppard's mother in Pennsylvania.

Seenath declined to comment Tuesday.

The deal, which Judge Tom Barber approved a week before the case was to go to trial, calls for Seenath to perform 200 hours of community service and undergo a mental health evaluation.

While her resignation ends matters in the school district, members of Donna Sheppard's family are not satisfied.

Shortly before the hearing, family members were given a letter of apology, which the State Attorney's Office had requested. In it, Seenath wrote, "I communicated to set the record straight about my relationship with David Sheppard. I was hurt, frightened for my job, and afraid."

After expressing her regrets, Seenath added: "While David Sheppard spoke to me about issues they had in the marriage, he did not give extensive details of her mental health and physical issues. Were I aware, I would never have become involved in the first place."

Donna Sheppard's relatives contend she had no mental health problems.

"They're nice and they apologized about everything, but it still puts me without a sister," said Michael West, Donna's brother, who was in the courtroom.

"The family feels that it's still not explainable, you know? Everybody that knew Donna knows she did not do that to herself. Regardless, it's because of those two (David Sheppard and Seenath) that she's not here."

Contact Marlene Sokol at (813) 226-3356 or Follow @marlenesokol.

Woman in Tampa school stalking case receives probation 09/02/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 10:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Serena Williams, and all women, deserved better from John McEnroe


    John McEnroe might be the best sports analyst in broadcasting.

    Serena Williams makes a backhand return to her sister Venus during the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in January in  Melbourne, Australia. [AP photo]
  2. Watch: Provocateur targets CNN producer with hidden camera video


    NEW YORK —A conservative provocateur posted a video Tuesday of a man identified as a CNN producer commenting on his network's coverage of President Donald Trump and connections to Russia.

    Anthony Scaramucci, a senior adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, talks to reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. [Associated Press]
  3. Protesters demand Confederate statue be moved from old Hillsborough courthouse


    TAMPA – Politicians, clergy and community leaders demanded Tuesday that the Hillsborough County commission reverse course and remove a Confederate monument from the old county courthouse.

    (From left) Mike Reed, Kristen Perry and Dayna Lazarus hold protest signs Tuesday in front of a Confederate monument on the grounds of Hillsborough County's old courthouse. Protesters want the statue removed. ALESSANDRA DA PRA   Times]
  4. Man charged with threatening Florida lawmaker on Facebook


    From The Associated Press:

    MIAMI — A Florida man has been charged with threatening to kill a state legislator in a Facebook post. 

    This booking photo released by the Miami-Dade Police Department shows Steve St. Felix, who has been charged with threatening to kill Republican state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz in a Facebook post.
  5. Joe Maddon: What my time in Tampa Bay meant, and still means, to me

    The Heater

    Editor's note: The Rays next week in Chicago will meet up for the first time with former manager Joe Maddon, who is in his third year leading the Cubs after nine with the Rays. In advance of the Tuesday-Wednesday series, we asked Maddon to share his thoughts in a column on what his time in Tampa Bay meant to …

    Joe Maddon waits to greet B.J. Upton after Upton's home run in Game 2 of the ALCS in 2008 at Tropicana Field. [Times files (2008)]