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Today’s letters about the Hillsborough superintendent search

Under the public records law, we have requested messages to School Board members
Assisted by the Ray and Associates search firm, the Hillsborough County School Board is hiring a new superintendent. [MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times staff]
Assisted by the Ray and Associates search firm, the Hillsborough County School Board is hiring a new superintendent. [MARLENE SOKOL | Times staff]
Published Jan. 14

A look inside today’s School Board inbox:

Past coverage of Harrison Peters (addressed to all School Board members, forwarded by Stacy Hahn)

I would like to bring your attention to some articles regarding Candidate #7 Harrison Peters. Harrison Peters frequently moves from district to district to not be held accountable for his actions or inactions. I wanted to share a few articles with you.

Article #1: 'Chief of Schools' Harrison Peters continues arrogant ways while heading out the door? Are CPS COS illegally using ILTs to evaluate teachers?

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"Peters, who has submitted his resume to Wasau County as he tries to get a job outside Chicago, has never taught one day in a Chicago public school classroom. He received his masters and "doctoral" degrees from Nova University and was brought to Chicago from out of town by Ron Huberman."

Here's the link:

Article #2: CPS Adds Hurdle for Parents Trying to Keep Canter Middle School Open

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"Peters may already have one foot out the door though. According to local news reports, he applied for two superintendent positions this year in Nevada and in Maryland, and he was criticized locally for checking his e-mail during meetings with parents at Morgan Park High School on the longer school day."

Here's the link:

Article #3: Florida educator running a gritty Chicago 'network'... Southeast side rally greets chieftain Harrison Peters in the shadow of what were once Chicago's steel mills

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"When Harrison Peters arrived, CTU members and supporters from the southeast side blocked the entrance to the school’s parking lot.

Reportedly he was driving a car with Florida license plates. Mr. Peters came to Chicago in 2011 after holding a position of principal in Charlotte, North Carolina; he was a principal in Orlando, Florida prior to that. He applied for the position of superintendent in Reno, Nevada during the past school year."

Here's the link:

Article #4: Head of Hyde Park Elementary Schools Resigns Eight Months Into the Job

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"Harrison Peters took the job in December amid suspicion about how long he would remain in the post during a period of many changes at Hyde Park schools because he was actively applying for jobs at other school districts."

After causing issues in Chicago, he left to take a job in Houston Independent School District.

Here's the link:

Harrison Peters applied for several positions while employed with the Hillsborough County School District.

Article #5: Omaha Public Schools superintendent finalist linked to Tampa teacher sex offense controversy

He was a semi-finalist for the Omaha Public Schools Superintendent position. The OPS parents took notice of the I-Team Interview with Harrison Peters. One of the parents said, "I understand they can't be responsible for every action for every employee, but at the same time being open and honest about it with the community is really important." I personally share the same concern.

Here's the link:

Article #6: Superintendent semifinalist accused of fumbling past complaint

Then he applied for another position while in Hillsborough. He was a semi-finalist for the Duval County Public School Superintendent position. Based on his conduct in this district, he was not selected for the job.

Here's the link:

Please do not allow the pressure and recent intimidation tactics from the NAACP or other organizations to distract from the real problems in this district. The lack of honesty and accountability is exactly what we don't need as a Superindentent. Harrison Peters is not loyal to this district. His patterns are clear as day. School Board Member Tamara Shamburger sat as chair during this selection process and now wants to question and target candidates for political reasons. I've attached a screenshot of a conversation she had on Facebook to rally support for Harrison Peters. This is wrong and unfair to a process she agreed and signed off on.

I hope we can all move past these stunts and place our focus back on our children.

As an advocate fighting for equity in education, I suggest taking a look at the patterns of the leaders in this district.

Bianca Goolsby

Child advocate (and former teacher)


  1. Harrison Peters, Chief of Schools in Hillsborough County, has landed a job as superintendent in Providence, R.I. [HCPS  |  Handout]
    Peters will become a turnaround superintendent at a troubled district.
  2. Gov. Ron DeSantis. [STEVE CANNON  |  AP]
    Florida students will read more classical literature and learn math differently, according to summary documents.
  3. Janessa Horsford, 5, says goodbye to her parents, Julytsa and Nigel Horsford, on her first day of kindergarten at Lake Magdalene Elementary School.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  4. Miranda Harwood, a fourth-grade math teacher at Brooker Elementary School, is the Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year. [Hillsborough County Public Schools]
    The self-described “data queen” uses humor to keep her students engaged.
  5. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. [Times]
    Five girls and one boy will face charges after lunchtime fights disrupted the Pasco County campus, according to the school district.
  6. State Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, presents legislation to create a new chapter of Florida law dedicated to parents' rights when dealing with government and other agencies, during a committee meeting Jan. 23, 2020. [The Florida Channel]
    Parents have been marginalized by bureaucracy, and need to be empowered in law, sponsor Rep. Erin Grall says.
  7. Kurt Browning, left, is seeking a third term as superintendent of Pasco County schools. Addison Davis, right, is negotiating a contract to become Hillsborough County's next superintendent. [Tampa Bay Times (2016, 2020)]
    A Hillsborough search and Pasco election offer insights into the job and its importance.
  8. This time last year, Nicole Kenngatt, holding hands with student Lilly Crandall, was announced as Teacher of the Year. The award for the 2019-20 school year will be given Wednesday in a ceremony at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. [JAY NOLAN  |  Special to the Times]
    The winner for 2019-20 will be announced Wednesday during the Pinellas Education Foundation’s annual “Evening of Excellence.”
  9. An empty classroom at Bloomingdale High School in Hillsborough County. [Skip O'Rourke | Times] [SKIP O'ROURKE  |  Skip O'Rourke]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  10. State Rep. Wyman Duggan, a Jacksonville Republican, presents his bill to create a "do not hire" list for any school employee who has been terminated, or resigned in lieu of termination, from employment as a result of sexual misconduct with a student. [The Florida Channel]
    The measure would apply to district, charter and private schools.