Thomas C. Tobin - Editor, Education and Clearwater

Editor, Education and Clearwater

I lead a talented team of journalists covering a diverse range of topics including education, religion, local nonprofits and the city of Clearwater. When I arrived in Tampa Bay in the mid-1980s from my hometown of St. Louis, Florida was just coming into its own as the economic, political and cultural powerhouse it is today. Since then I've covered local and state government, election issues, education and more. As the Times’ state reporter for two years, I got a chance to travel to a different corner of Florida every week. For a time, I delved into the world of Scientology. It’s been amazing to see our state and our region grow. I love to hear from readers. Give me a shout any time.

  1. An architect's rendering shows the outdoor recreation features planned for Pinellas County’s newest middle school, a partnership between the school district and the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg. The school board voted on Jan. 24, 2023, to name the new campus Mangrove Bay Middle School, after the neighborhood that surrounds it.
  2. A school flag waves in the wind on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, at New College of Florida in Sarasota, where Gov. Ron DeSantis has appointed six conservatives to the board of trustees.
  3. People in need of a warm place to sleep wait in line to enter the Hillsborough County cold weather Shelter hosted by the Hyde Park Methodist Church on Friday, Dec. 23, 2022 in Tampa.
  4. Graduating seniors from St. Petersburg High attend their commencement ceremony at Tropicana Field on Friday, May 20, 2022, in Pinellas County. High school seniors from Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties can apply for a scholarship that offers $25,000 for college starting in 2023.
  5. A "DUI wolf pack" operation that spanned Saturday night and early Sunday morning in Pinellas County netted a large number of DUI arrests, speeding tickets and charges for other offenses, the Sheriff's Office said.
  6. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., talks during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. On Monday, he travels to Gainesville to meet with students, faculty and employees at the University of Florida.
  7. The Florida Highway Patrol released this photo of a broken passenger-side mirror found at the scene of a crash where a bicyclist was struck on Saturday in Pasco County. The mirror appears to have come from a gray Nissan Altima, troopers said.
  8. Crews clear power lines along Fourth Street N in St. Petersburg on Sunday to make way for a house that was moved from its original location a few blocks away at 136 Fourth Ave. NE. The house was built in 1912. Its relocation paves the way for construction of The Nolen, a 23-story residential tower on Fourth Avenue NE.
  9. Authorities are looking for the driver of a vehicle that struck and killed a man on a bicycle in Pasco County early Sunday.
  10. Tash Elwyn, president and CEO of Raymond James & Associates, has been named chairperson of the Pinellas Education Foundation's board.
  11. Corey Anderson, 18, was charged on Sunday, May 29, 2022, with Written or Electronic Threat to Conduct a Mass Shooting or Act of Terrorism, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.
  12. In this livestream image, math teacher and senior class sponsor Tara Ferlita is seen raising her arms in celebration after telling graduates at Nature Coast Technical High to turn their tassels at the school's commencement ceremony on Friday, May 20, 2022. Graduations for the Hernando County School District's four other high schools were scheduled for May 26, 27 and 28.
  13. This March 2022 photo provided by Manny Renfro shows his grandson, Uziyah Garcia, while on spring break in San Angelo, Texas. The 8-year-old  was among those killed in Tuesday's shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24 in Uvalde, Texas.
  14. Graduates from River Ridge High in New Port Richey celebrate before their commencement ceremony in 2014. The class of 2022 in Pasco County will get its chance in the coming days, with graduations scheduled through late May and early June.
  15. Students from Pinellas County private schools are graduating this month along with their peers in area public schools.
  16. Seniors applaud at the conclusion of the Star-Spangled Banner during Pinellas Park High School's graduation ceremony at Tropicana Field in 2019. Ceremonies for the Class of 2022 begin Thursday at the Trop, where all but three Pinellas high schools will hold their commencements.
  17. Philanthropist Jeffrey Walker, center, joins students rehearsing for the Walker’s Rising Stars competition at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Thursday, May 12, 2022. From left are Megan Bishop, Kiley Campbell, Christy Do, Luna Garcia, Walker, Pinellas Education Foundation CEO Stacy Baier, Meghan McMillin, Charlie Lane, Sophia Sapienza and Afeiyah Kamall.
  18. Hillsborough County's private-school graduates will join their peers from area public schools in celebration over the next few weeks.
  19. Graduates take their seats during Durant High School's 2019 commencement at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Graduation season for Hillsborough County's Class of 2022 will run from May 17-28 this year, with most ceremonies scheduled for the Fairgrounds.
  20. Apr. 29, 2022• The Education Gradebook
    Pictured are some of the math textbooks that Florida rejected two weeks ago, saying they contained "prohibited topics and unsolicited strategies." State officials continue to turn away questions about the decision.
  21. Florida Republican leaders allege publishers are trying to indoctrinate children by slipping "unsolicited strategies" and "prohibited topics" into textbooks.
  22. Pinellas County Teacher of the Year Eileen Iacobucci is greeted by East Lake High School Principal Carmela Haley on Thursday at the school. Iacobucci, who has been a visual arts teacher at East Lake since 2007 and has worked in Pinellas County Schools since 1998.
  23. Jan. 25, 2022• The Education Gradebook
    Lt. Cmdr. Christian Cruz, a retired U.S. Navy officer, was announced Tuesday as Hernando County's Teacher of the Year.