Monday, August 20, 2018

Writers

Claire McNeill, Times staff writer

Claire McNeill, Times staff writer

Claire McNeill covers higher education for the Tampa Bay Times. She joined the paper in 2014 and covered general assignment news in Pasco and Pinellas counties. She grew up in a one-square-mile town in South Jersey and graduated from the University of North Carolina, where she studied journalism and political science. She has worked for The Boston Globe and The Charlotte Observer. She lives in St. Petersburg.



Students on Thursday get ready to move into Endeavor, one of three new residence halls opening this week on the University of South Florida's Tampa campus. An area of campus known as the Village was designed to offer neighborhood-style living, part of an overall effort to give USF a more residential feel. More students live on campus now than ever -- an all-time high of 6,300. [BRONTE WITTPENN   |   Times]

A USF milestone: Three new dorms, more than 6,300 students living on campus

TAMPA — The paint on Pinnacle Hall’s white-and-gold walls still smelled fresh as Lilly Myskey led a parade of parents and bins and bags down the hall toward her new room at the University of South Florida. "Speaking of the building being...
Published: 08/17/18
Palm Harbor Elementary, closed since 2009, is now being considered as the site of a new gifted magnet school in north Pinellas County. It's one of two new magnets proposed by the district. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFOR   |   Times]

Pinellas plans new arts and gifted magnet schools in north county

Next school year, if all goes according to plan, two new programs will expand the slate of options for Pinellas County elementary students — a conservatory for the arts in Clearwater and a gifted center in Palm Harbor.The programs, which will...
Published: 08/15/18
Robert Gagnon, right, has been promoted in the Pinellas County school system despite questions about his past that kept him from getting a principal's job last year. District officials say he was the most qualified person for the job. Gagon described himself as

Passed over for principal, a Pinellas educator with a problematic history is promoted

Robert J. Gagnon was the shoo-in pick to be the next principal of St. Petersburg High last year, at least until "new information" surfaced about his early career that led Pinellas County school superintendent Mike Grego to reverse course.Now,...
Published: 08/14/18
Wednesday's suicide by a well-liked senior at Florida Polytechnic University has cratered an already grim mood among faculty and staff on the Lakeland campus embroiled in a toxic stew of layoffs, depleted finances and rock-bottom morale. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Times]

At Florida Poly, a student suicide and a question: Could it have been prevented?

The only mental health counselor at Florida Polytechnic University got laid off in June. She suspects she was too loud about the ways the troubled university was, in her eyes, failing its students. Her departure left some 1,400 of them with no...
Updated one month ago
Jeffrey D. Senese, Saint Leo University's newest president. (Courtesy Saint Leo University)

Saint Leo University names 10th president

Saint Leo University has named its 10th president.Jeffrey D. Senese joined the university at the beginning of the year as first provost and senior vice president of academic and student affairs. Then, when William J. Lennox Jr.
Updated one month ago
Pinellas School Board forum draws ideas for achievement gap and neighborhood schools

Pinellas School Board forum draws ideas for achievement gap and neighborhood schools

CLEARWATER — The summer's first big forum for Pinellas School Board candidates saw plenty of agreement on improving neighborhood schools and narrowing the district's lingering achievement gap.Where candidates varied was in...
Updated one month ago
Pinellas school board candidates face off tonight in first big forum

Pinellas school board candidates face off tonight in first big forum

Candidates for the Pinellas County School Board faced off earlier this month at a forum in St. Petersburg, but their first big night on stage takes place this evening in Clearwater.This is the first of three forums sponsored by...
Updated one month ago
Stephanie Woodford

In Pinellas, 13 schools enter 2018-19 with new principals

Several Pinellas County public schools will begin the year with new leadership. Below is a list of principals who have been assigned to their schools since May 1.ELEMENTARY...
Updated one month ago
Three candidates are vying to replace long-time Pinellas County School Board member Linda Lerner. From left, they are Bill Dudley, Lorena Grizzle and Matt Stewart. In the background is the School Board's meeting room in Largo, where all three hope to sit one day soon. The primary election is Aug. 28. [SCOTT KEELER \ DIRK SHADD   |   Times]

In District 6, School Board candidates offer ideas on teacher pay, achievement gap and more

In Pinellas County’s only School Board race without an incumbent, three longtime Pinellas residents — a retired City Council member and coach, a human resources manager and a special education teacher — will duke it out for the District 6 seat.
Updated one month ago
Pinellas School Board candidates talk inequity, retaliation and more at wide-ranging forum

Pinellas School Board candidates talk inequity, retaliation and more at wide-ranging forum

ST. PETERSBURG — Pinellas School Board candidates fielded questions about school security, educational inequity and retaliation in a wide-ranging Thursday evening forum at Pinellas Technical College.A dozen candidates, spread...
Updated one month ago