Saturday, February 24, 2018
News Roundup

Superintendent removes two principals from schools

BROOKSVILLE — Two Hernando County school principals, Mark Griffith of Moton Elementary School and Latressa Jones of the Endeavor and Discovery academies, will not return to their positions next year.

Two district-level staffers — Jason Chase, supervisor of technology and information services, and J. Lisle Bozeman, manager of planning and grant development — also will be leaving their jobs.

The letters informing Griffith and Jones that their contracts will not be renewed say that they did not make adequate progress on their professional improvement plans.

The district did not comment further on the reasons for the departures. The improvement plans were part of the principals' 2015 evaluations, which do not become public until July 1.

Jones did not return a telephone call from the Times seeking an interview. Griffith and Chase declined to comment. Bozeman said only that she was not offered a contract to return to the district.

Jones was in charge at Endeavor last fall when it moved to its new site on the campus of Central High School, and she opened Discovery.

Endeavor serves students, most of them high school age, who have severe behavior problems. Discovery serves middle school students who have fallen behind academically.

The district removed Griffith from his post last month after it launched an investigation into potential violations of standardized testing procedures.

That investigation is ongoing, said district spokeswoman Karen Jordan. The district is also investigating a report filed after Griffith's departure that a student with Down syndrome had been physically abused at the school.

The moves of Jones and Griffith — and the retirement of Explorer K-8 School principal Barbara Kidder — initiated other moves.

Steve Crognale, a longtime assistant principal in the district, will take over Endeavor and Discovery. Jamie Young will move to Moton from J.D. Floyd K-8 School, and Brooksville Elementary assistant principal Joyce Lewis will assume the leadership at J.D. Floyd.

Lisa Braithwaite will fill the vacant position at Explorer. Her current principal job, leading Suncoast Elementary School, is the only one the district has not yet filled, according to a news release announcing the lineup of school leaders.

The moves of school and district administrators is less dramatic than last year, when the contracts of five high-level staffers in the district office were not renewed, and the school shifts included the reassignments of 14 assistant principals.

Contact Dan DeWitt at [email protected]; follow @ddewitttimes.

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