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Charter schools see changes in Pasco County

Published Oct. 17, 2013

The Imagine School at Land O'Lakes has a new principal.

Aimee Williams, who has been a teacher and more recently academic dean at the charter school, has taken over the job from Kathy Helean. Helean took over the school in 2010, and during her tenure helped open a new campus and improve the school's academic performance in the state grading system to regular A's.

In a recent newsletter, Helean said she was moving to a more regional role for Imagine Schools, a Virginia-based charter company with a broad Florida presence. She remains involved with the school.

A new charter school has won preliminary approval to open in Pasco County.

Learning Lodge Academy, proposed by Hudson Elementary teacher Kerrie Cuffe, would serve high levels of Title I students, using the Kagan Cooperative Learning model of instruction, which has small groups of students working together to achieve a common goal. Its goal is to open next fall with 252 children in kindergarten through third grade.

With the charter approved, Cuffe next has to negotiate a contract with the district to operate.

The district has yet to make official recommendations on two other charter applicants seeking to open in 2014.