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Marlene Sokol - Hillsborough County schools reporter

Hillsborough County schools reporter

I’ve been a journalist since 1983 at newspapers all over Florida. After 15 years as an editor in the Tampa suburbs I was assigned to cover the Hillsborough public school system, the same one that gave my two children a great education. That last part didn't happen by itself. I was an active volunteer and believe schools should accommodate parents' busy schedules. I’m not a fan of the 3 p.m. parent conference or 10 a.m. PTA meeting! On weekends I play tennis and volunteer at a youth soccer program. Call or email me with your tips about the schools. I use Facebook for family and Twitter for self-promotion. But I prefer my conversations one-on-one.

  1. Tony Hart wanted to volunteer at his children's school but was stopped by a criminal background screening. Before that, he said he was making a positive impact at Adams Middle School in Tampa.
    The school district never considered Tony Hart a volunteer. But he was heavily involved, earning praise from the principal.
  2. Brent McBrien, the former principal of Martinez Middle School, has resigned his position with the Hillsborough County School District.
    Brent McBrien elected not to go through with his termination hearing
  3. Hillsborough County students take part in a skills test that compares the district to 26 other urban districts. The results were released on Wednesday.
    In reading and math, the Hillsborough out-performs many big-city districts.
  4. Oct. 30• Gradebook
    Potter Elementary School second grade student Dayan Garcia makes slime out of liquid starch and glue with his younger sister, Zoe Figueroa, and mother, Yamile Figueroa, at the school's Steamoween festival on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019 in Tampa.
    Science, music and community mark the holiday at Potter Elementary School
  5. Harold Fritz, 75, was awarded the nation's highest and rarest honor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in 1969. The Army lieutenant saved his platoon during an ambush in the Vietnam war. He spoke to students at Farnell Middle School in Tampa.
    Harold Fritz wanted to talk about teachers’ salaries and education. The kids wanted selfies with one of the 71 living recipients of the nation’s highest honor.
  6. A pauper's cemetery was established at the northeast corner of property now occupied by King High School in Tampa, location of the school gymnasium (tall building at top left) and the main parking lot.
    Conflicting versions emerge of where Ridgewood Cemetery was located. One thing is certain: It was ignored or forgotten.
  7. Oct. 21• Gradebook
    Hillsborough High School Senior Anthony Allen with principal Gary Brady, Principal U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine Sullivan, and schools superintendent Jeff Eakins.
    Hillsborough accepts its share of a federal grant.
  8. Hillsborough County Superintendent Jeff Eakins, right, and  school board chair Tammy Shamburger speaks on newly raised concerns of a undiscovered cemetery for indigent African Americans that may be within the vicinity of King High School in Tampa on Friday.
    Much is unclear at this point, say Hillsborough school officials, who promise to be open and transparent with the community,
  9. Hillsborough County School Board member Melissa Snively
    Board member Melissa Snively wanted to honor a community pioneer.
  10. Toby Johnson is the new principal of Martinez Middle School.
    The School Board also suspended former Martinez principal Brent McBrien.