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Marlene Sokol - Hillsborough County schools reporter

Hillsborough County schools reporter

I’ve been a journalist since 1983 at newspapers all over Florida. After 15 years as an editor in the Tampa suburbs I was assigned to cover the Hillsborough public school system, the same one that gave my two children a great education. That last part didn't happen by itself. I was an active volunteer and believe schools should accommodate parents' busy schedules. I’m not a fan of the 3 p.m. parent conference or 10 a.m. PTA meeting! On weekends I play tennis and volunteer at a youth soccer program. Call or email me with your tips about the schools. I use Facebook for family and Twitter for self-promotion. But I prefer my conversations one-on-one.

  1. Hillsborough schools superintendent MaryEllen Elia holds a back-to-school press conference at Rampello K-8 School, [TIMES files]
    MaryEllen Elia, who led the Hillsborough district from 2005 to 2015, has been an educator since 1970.
  2. Jeff Eakins and MaryEllen Elia, Hillsborough's last two superintendents, were hired from inside the school system. So have all others since 1967. [TIMES FILES]
    Two more public meetings are planned, and the online survey is up until Saturday.
  3. Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace has 183 more students this school year than last. Middle schools grew in enrollment this year, while elementary schools lost more than 1,200 students.  [Times | 2013]
    The 20 day count shows ever more crowding in southeast Hillsborough.
  4. Sally Harris said she has more to accomplish and is mounting a return campaign for the Hillsborough County School Board. [Times | 2014]
    Three people have filed so far for the seat now held by Lynn Gray.
  5. Ashlynn NesSmith, 16, with her mother, Erin NesSmith, at Thursday's news conference in Tampa about the dangers of vaping.
    The legislation discussed in Tampa is ‘aimed at saving lives and addressing the current vaping health crisis.’
  6. The Hillsborough County School Board holds a workshop in June 2019.
    The chairwoman looks for ways to keep comments private, while the board asks for more input on key issues like its superintendent search.
  7. Sally Harris, shown during her first term on the Hillsborough County School Board, is running again in 2020.
    She is going after Lynn Gray’s districtwide seat.
  8. Tamara Shamburger, shown in 2016, is chairwoman of the Hillsborough County School Board.
    Other boards “put staff and students first” by limiting their webcasts, she said.
  9. Tamara Shamburger, shown in 2016, is chairwoman of the Hillsborough County School Board.
    Tamara Shamburger said she was trying to protect constituents, not stifle dissent.
  10. David Brown will be the principal of High School "TTT" in Hillsborough County,
    The district must now replace David Brown.