Personnel swap leaves John Hopkins Middle School with a new principal

Records show student performance declined last year, when outgoing principal Dallas Jackson began leading the school.
Dallas Jackson has been replaced as principal of John Hopkins Middle School by the Pinellas County School Board. He will switch places with Carlmon Jones, manager of the district's teacher recruitment. [Times files]
Dallas Jackson has been replaced as principal of John Hopkins Middle School by the Pinellas County School Board. He will switch places with Carlmon Jones, manager of the district's teacher recruitment. [Times files]
Published December 4
Updated December 4

The Pinellas County School Board swapped two employees' positions at a meeting Tuesday, leaving John Hopkins Middle School with a new principal, a rare move in the middle of an academic year.

Starting Wednesday, Pinellas' manager of teacher recruitment, Carlmon Jones, will take the place of Dallas Jackson, who was appointed to lead the St. Petersburg school last year. Jackson will fill Jones' job.

When asked for an explanation for the switch, school district spokesperson Lisa Wolf provided the following comment:

"Pinellas County schools makes adjustments to staff appointments in order to best meet the needs of our students and school district. We look forward to the leadership and perspective Mr. Jones and Dr. Jackson will bring to these positions."

School Board members unanimously approved the moves without discussion along with several other items during a regular meeting. Chairwoman Rene Flowers could not immediately be reached for comment.

Student performance on English and mathematics tests fell dramatically at John Hopkins the year Jackson became principal, records show.

In 2016-17, 37.6 percent of students there were proficient, or scored a Level 3 or above, in English language arts. The next year, that number dropped to 29.5 percent, records show.

Seventh-graders took the biggest loss, with a 44 percent passing rate on English tests in 2016-17 falling below 25 percent in Jackson's first year.

In math, nearly 34 percent of students overall at John Hopkins were proficient in 2016-17. About half that scored a Level 3 or above last year.

Neither Jackson nor Jones could be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon. This will be Jones' first time working as principal.

The job Jackson, 56, will takeover from Jones, 41, is titled "manager of talent acquisition." According to a district job description, he will "oversee the strategy and execution of teacher recruitment in the district with an emphasis on minority candidates."

Records show the job paid Jones about $77,175 annually. Jackson's salary as principal was not immediately available.

Both men started work in Pinellas schools in the late 1990s. Jones was a teacher and assistant principal before becoming head of recruiting. Jackson started as an occupational specialist, then held one other principal role and various assistant principal jobs before arriving at John Hopkins.

Contact Megan Reeves at [email protected] Follow @mareevs.

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