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Pasco County's Ridgewood High School and Schwettman Education Center get not-so-new principals

LAND O'LAKES — Two Pasco high school principals got transferred Tuesday as superintendent Heather Fiorentino sought to give them — and their schools — a fresh start for the new year.

Effective Monday, Wesley Chapel High principal Andy Frelick will run Ridgewood High and Ridgewood principal Randy Koenigsfeld will return to lead Schwettman Education Center.

Frelick has run Wesley Chapel High for the past decade. In recent weeks he has come under pressure over a misapplication of the district's grade-point average policy that led star athlete Kamran Joyer to seek release from his University of South Florida football scholarship.

District policy allows schools to replace a student's F or D if the student earns a better grade in the second semester or a retake of the course, but USF found some instances in which C's were being replaced.

Fiorentino said the investigation that followed cleared the school of any intentional wrongdoing. But she said "the press and the notoriety that this incident had brought" led to the desire to let Frelick and the district "get a fresh start as we move forward."

She praised Frelick as a strong principal who grooms other leaders for the district.

Koenigsfeld, Ridgewood's principal for six years, returns to the alternative school that he led from 1998 to 2003.

The district had two strong applicants for that job, which came open when former principal Mimi Foster transferred to Anclote High School as an assistant principal. But Fiorentino said she did not want someone without leadership experience in the post as the district makes a concerted effort to revamp its alternative education program.

"We will give the schools a fresh start (as well as) the administrators, using their talents to benefit our district," Fiorentino said. "We have to look at the district as a whole."

Wesley Chapel also will lose one of its assistant principals this year. Fiorentino named Jennifer Crosby to serve as principal at Pine View Middle School, effective immediately.

Crosby also had been a contender for the Zephyrhills High principal job.

She replaces Kim Anderson, who transferred to Pasco Middle earlier this year.

The moves leave Wesley Chapel High without a principal for now.

Fiorentino said she will have the job advertised before the end of the week.

Since January, more than a dozen schools have gotten new principals.

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.

FAST FACTS

School Board

In other business Tuesday, the School Board:

• Gave tentative approval to the 2009-10 millage rate of 7.304 mills and the 2009-10 budget of $1.16 billion. Final adoption is scheduled for Sept. 15.

• Approved an application for $11 million in federal interest-free bonds to build a new culinary arts institute at Land O'Lakes High School and to pay for unnamed school remodeling projects.

• Heard public concerns about plans to build a new administration building and agreed to receive more information about the project from the superintendent at a later date.

Pasco County's Ridgewood High School and Schwettman Education Center get not-so-new principals 07/28/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 9:09pm]
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