Friday, April 20, 2018


Colleen Wright

Colleen Wright

Colleen Wright covers Pinellas County Schools since joining the Times in 2015. Florida born and bred, she was raised in Miami and graduated from the University of Florida.

Pinellas County School Board member Linda Lerner, who has been on the board for 28 years, announced Thursday she will not seek re-election. [Times | 2015]

Veteran Pinellas School Board member Linda Lerner will not seek re-election

Linda Lerner, one of Florida's longest-serving school board members, announced Thursday that she will not seek re-election for her Pinellas County School Board seat this August.The 74-year-old Lerner was elected to the board in 1990 and has...
Published: 04/12/18
SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
Joanne Lentino, Pinellas County School Board Candidate, District 1.

Pinellas School Board votes 6-1 to approve later school start times

LARGO ó Hillsborough Countyís recent decision to start high schools an hour later, at 8:30 a.m., next year inspired 6,300 people in Pinellas County to sign an online petition. Citing student sleep deprivation and related health issues, they wanted...
Published: 04/10/18
Kashif Haynes boards his bus at 5 a.m. for a 45-mile journey that will take him to Tarpon Springs High, where is he a freshman. The Pinellas County School Board will vote on the 2018-19 proposed bell schedule times today. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

Today: Pinellas to vote on new high school start times, center for gifted students

There's a lot to unpack in this unexpected double-header today at the Pinellas County School Board. A special workshop to discuss how the district is implementing new school safety measures now required by law will begin after the 10 a.m. board...
Published: 04/10/18
The Pinellas County School Board voted 6-1 to push back school times 15 and 10 minutes later in the 2018-19 school year at a board meeting Tuesday. [Times files]

Itís official: Pinellas will start most high schools at 7:20 a.m. next school year

After months of deliberation, the Pinellas County School Board on Tuesday singled out a proposal to move school start times 10 and 15 minutes later this fall and voted to approve the change 6-1.Most high schools will now start 15 minutes later...
Published: 04/10/18
Countryside High was evacuated Monday morning following two threats. The first was made on social media and deemed unfounded, but a second concern prompted the evacuation.

Countryside High evacuated following ominous Facebook message to police

Officials evacuated Countryside High Monday morning after they received two online warnings.Clearwater Police spokesman Rob Shaw said police received this direct message on the department's Facebook page: "Countryside high school 4/9/18 school...
Published: 04/09/18
From left,  Seth Yeager, Raymond Andino and Connor Mikuta perform on opening night of St. Petersburg High School's production of

For Puerto Rican student, a fresh start and a breakthrough role

ST. PETERSBURG ó Raymond Andino pressed the handlebar moustache against his lip."Itís kinda itchy," he said, his mouth barely open so as not to disturb it.The faux finish completed the look for one of the thugs in Sister Act,...
Published: 04/06/18
The Pinellas County School system will hire more than 150 school resource officers to comply with a new state law. [Times (2007)]

New school officers in Pinellas will make more than many teachers

It takes 13 years for a Pinellas County teacher with a bachelor's degree to reach a salary of about $46,500. But dozens of brand new school resource officers — part of Florida's big push for safer campuses — won't have to wait that...
Published: 04/05/18
Teachers protest outside the Nov. 14 Hillsborough County School Board meeting, led by union president Jean Clements.  [GABRIELLA ANGOTTI-JONES | Times]

Can Florida teachers walk out too? Itís not a good idea, unions say

As thousands of their colleagues in other states are walking out over low pay this week, some Florida teachers are wondering if they should be doing the same.The list of grievances is long. A state budget that steered millions to school safety...
Updated one month ago
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office deputy Bo Bauman (second from left, hidden), deputy Derek Gregory (center, hiding Bauman) and Sgt. Dan LaFave (second from right) take part in active-shooter training at Osceola Middle School in 2013. To comply with a new state law, Pinellas County is rushing to put a school resource officer in every school by the start of the new school year, but that means training dozens of SROs this summer. [Times (2013)]

Pinellas rushes to train dozens of new school resource officers

School districts around the state are grappling with how to properly train and station armed guards at every school to comply with a new state law by the start of the new school year.Districts could arm and train school employees, which is an...
Updated one month ago
Treasure Island Police Chief Armand J.J. Boudreau, poses at a parking spot outside of Treasure Island Police Headquarters. .SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

Treasure Island doesnít have a school, but says it will help staff officers in schools to comply with a new law

TREASURE ISLAND ó This beach community is a popular destination for seasonal residents, tourists and retirees. But itís also a permanent home for about 450 school-age kids. Although there isnít a school along its 3.5-mile stretch on the Gulf,...
Updated one month ago