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St. John's Episcopal Parish Day School headmaster to retire from school

TAMPA — The headmaster of St. John's Episcopal Parish Day School, recently embroiled in controversy, announced Tuesday that he will retire from the position next year.

In an email to students' parents, Gordon Rode wrote he was proud of the Christian school's accomplishments during his eight years as headmaster.

"I believe that St. John's is well positioned for an even stronger future," he wrote.

Last year, the $10,000-a-year private school garnered attention when the Florida Department of Children and Families investigated allegations that a Latin teacher slapped a middle school child. Parents also said that teacher, D.J. Holt, verbally abused students, calling them insulting names.

Also, a popular middle school administrator was abruptly let go, inciting accusations that she was a scapegoat. And two board members received letters threatening their families. Tampa police opened an investigation.

DCF closed its case in February, saying it did not find evidence of abuse. Holt was allowed back to the school in March.

In Tuesday's email, Rode said he is leaving to seek his "next professional opportunity." The board will lead a nationwide search for the next headmaster, who will start July 1, 2014.

St. John's Episcopal Parish Day School headmaster to retire from school 06/25/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 1:14pm]
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