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Pasco eSchool leader named county Principal of the Year

JoAnne Glenn next will be entered for the statewide honor.
JoAnne Glenn is cheered by her staff as deputy superintendent Ray Gadd and other district officials surprise her with the announcement that she is Pasco County's 2020 Principal of the Year.
JoAnne Glenn is cheered by her staff as deputy superintendent Ray Gadd and other district officials surprise her with the announcement that she is Pasco County's 2020 Principal of the Year. [ JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK | Times Staff ]
Published Nov. 13, 2019

LAND O’ LAKES — The conference room already had decorations and gifts that JoAnne Glenn’s Pasco eSchool staff had brought to celebrate her birthday in between sessions on social-emotional learning.

But Glenn knew something else was up when her husband, Scott, showed up with school district superintendent Kurt Browning, School Board vice chair Colleen Beaudoin and an entourage of other district leaders carrying flowers, balloons and a cookie cake.

A look of astonishment crossed her face as Browning announced that Glenn, eSchool’s founding administrator, had been selected the district’s 2020 Principal of the Year. He called her a “rock star.”

Glenn demurred.

“It’s an honor to represent all my colleagues, because I can honestly tell you I am not the best principal,” Glenn told the group, amid hugs and handshakes.

“Oh yes, you are!” some shouted back, to cheers and applause. The group then burst into song.

“She’s the best. Completely,” English teacher Abigail Kennedy said, calling Glenn “down to earth” and “real.”

“Which is something you don’t always get in education these days,” added counselor Selina Reker.

Physical education teacher Susan Sesker agreed, noting that Glenn doesn’t try to find ways where teachers or students have fallen, but rather seeks opportunities to help them succeed.

Under Glenn’s leadership, eSchool has grown from an idea to one of the state’s largest school district-run virtual education programs. It was named the 2017-2018 Florida Virtual School of the Year among large-district franchises.

Glenn said her success reflected the great work of her staff.

“It’s a team," she said. "Students don’t take the classes because of JoAnne Glenn. They take the classes because my teachers make a difference.”

Glenn, who worked in Hillsborough County schools until joining Pasco in 2006, now is eligible to compete for Florida Principal of the Year.