1. Pasco

Ousted Connerton Elementary principal says she's not guilty of accusations

Editor's note: The Pasco County School District and Anna Falcone reached an agreement that allowed her to resign from her job as principal. In exchange the district agreed it would not try to have Falcone's teaching certificate revoked or suspended. In addition, the Florida Department of Education dismissed its administrative complaint against Falcone on April 27. 2015. She faced no discipline. You can read the notice of dismissal here.

Speaking publicly for the first time since her removal, former Connerton Elementary School principal Anna Falcone told the Pasco School Board late Tuesday that she didn't commit the infractions that prompted superintendent Kurt Browning to recommend her firing.

"I have been found guilty of misconduct and gross insubordination. I have done none of the two," Falcone said.

She came to the board surrounded by supporters, most of whom wore hot pink or red. Detractors also showed up to urge the School Board to move ahead with suspending Falcone without pay as the first step toward firing her.

Falcone told the board she acted as a leader during her years with the district, making hard decisions that often put her at odds with some around her. But she attempted to act professionally throughout, she said, keeping her focus on the needs of the students.

Now she feels under attack, being accused of trying to subvert the confidentiality of a recent district climate survey, she said. And it seemed that she had been judged and punished without all the facts.

"Many people are afraid and feel they will be retaliated against if they talk about the truth," she said.

The board approved Falcone's suspension and named Aimee Boltze as interim Connerton principal. Falcone requested a formal hearing before the board to appeal Browning's recommendation that she be dismissed.