Pinellas County School Board              301 Fourth Street SW

                            Largo, FL  33770

              Regular School Board Meeting    


              ~ Minutes ~              Ann Simonetti


Tuesday, April 25, 2017              5:00 PM              School Administration Building


I.              Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 5:00 p.m., at the School Board Administration Building, 301 Fourth Street SW, Largo, Florida.

Attendee Name




Rene Flowers

Vice Chairman



Eileen Long

Board Member



Joanne Lentino

Board Member



Carol J. Cook

Board Member



Terry Krassner

Board Member



Linda S. Lerner

Board Member



Peggy O' Shea




Michael A. Grego




William Corbett

Deputy Superintendent



David Koperski

Board Attorney



Kevin Smith

Associate Superintendent/Finance Business Services



Clinton Herbic

Associate Superintendent/Operations



Ann Simonetti

Clerk to the Board and Administrative Assistant



II.              Amendments to the Agenda

At this time, Dr. Grego stated that there were no amendments to the agenda.

III.              Adoption of Agenda


MOVER:              Carol J. Cook, Board Member

SECONDER:              Terry Krassner, Board Member

AYES:              Flowers, Long, Lentino, Cook, Krassner, Lerner, O' Shea

IV.              Invocation: Rabbi Daniel Treiser, Temple B’nai Israel, 1685 S. Belcher Road, Clearwater, FL 33764

Rabbi Daniel Treiser delivered the Invocation.

V.              Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance followed the Invocation.

              National Anthem

The National Anthem was sung by the St. Petersburg High School Pitchforks singing group.

              Video: Supporting scholars through AVID

The video highlighted the district's AVID programs. AVID is growing in Pinellas County and we are a recognized leader in its implementation. The program is run in fifteen of our elementary schools, nineteen middle schools and sixteen high schools. In grades 6-12 there are 4,285 students preparing for their future with the AVID elective. The district also has two AVID National Demonstration High Schools- Northeast High School and Boca Ciega High School. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination.

VI.              Introduction of Professional and Community Organization Reps: Lisa M. Wolf, Public Information Officer

Ms. Lisa Wolf, public information officer, introduced the following individuals:

Mike Gandolfo, PCTA; Cindy Ehrenzeller, PCCPTA; Karen Santangelo, Arts for a Complete Education; Colleen Wright, Tampa Bay Times; Saundra Weathers, Bay News 9; and, Dave Turner, Bay News 9.

VII.              Presentation by Student Rights and Responsibilities: St. Petersburg High School

Ms. Lisa Wolf, public information officer, introduced Weyman Cohen and JC Pritchett, student rights and responsibilities committee members from St. Petersburg High School. They addressed the board to share information regarding programs and activities taking place at their school.

VIII.              Special Order Agenda

1.              Presentation of the Proclamation Recognizing May as Better Hearing and Speech Month,  Presented by Sherry Aemisegger, Executive Director, Exceptional Student Education

Ms. Jane Golding, director, exceptional student education, spoke about the importance of awareness for better hearing and speech to afford individuals the skills to better communicate.

Rene Flowers read the proclamation aloud.

It was moved by Rene Flowers; seconded by Terry Krassner; and, carried with a 7-0 vote to approve the Proclamation Recognizing May as Better Hearing and Speech Month.

(Copy to be found in Supplemental Minute Book #169.)


2.              Presentation of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the District School Board of Pinellas County, and an Award of Financial Reporting Achievement (AFRA) to the District’s Finance Department for the 2015/16 Fiscal Year  Presented by Michael A. Grego, Ed.D., Superintendent

Dr. Grego spoke about the outstanding accomplishment of our finance and business services departments to receive the highest form of recognition in the area of government accounting and financial reporting.

Ms. Cathy Davidson, director, and Mr. Jeffrey Tarrant, general manager, accounting department, came forward to be acknowledged along with Mr. Kevin Smith, associate superintendent, finance and business services.

Ms. Davidson, Mr. Tarrant, and Mr. Smith, were greeted and congratulated by the board.


3.              Recognition of the 2016-17 Student Services Employee of the Year Award, Presented by Donna Sicilian, Executive Director, Student Services

Ms. Donna Sicilian spoke about the outstanding work done by Melissa Leech, school counselor, Sawgrass Lake Elementary.

Ms. Leech was greeted and congratulated by the board.


4.              Recognition of the 2016-17 Family and Community Engagement Award Winners, Presented by Valerie Brimm, Ed.D., Director, Office of Strategic Partnerships

Dr. Valerie Brimm introduced award recipients; Cypress Woods Elementary Principal Kathleen Young, and Countryside High School Principal Gerald Schlereth.

Ms. Young and Mr. Schlereth were greeted and congratulated by the board.


IX.              Public Comments on Agenda Items

The following individual addressed the board to share their comments on specific agenda items:

Mark Klutho

Consent Agenda Item #15: Request Approval of the 2015/16 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)

Mr. Klutho addressed the district’ strategic direction noted in this item and his viewpoint on how the district allocates funds in the budget.

X.              Unfinished Business


MOVER:              Terry Krassner, Board Member

SECONDER:              Rene Flowers, Vice Chairman

AYES:              Flowers, Long, Lentino, Cook, Krassner, Lerner, O' Shea

1.              Recommend Approval of the Final Order Adopting the Recommended Order of the Administrative Law Judge to Dismiss Cynthia Snow, Teacher, Bay Point Middle School

Mr. David Koperski spoke about the process and pointed out that there were no exceptions filed. Dr. Grego introduced, Ms. Laurie Dart, staff attorney. She stated that following a two day hearing, the administrative law judge ruled in favor of Dr. Grego's recommendation on all counts to dismiss Ms. Cynthia Snow. She said the findings of fact were uncontested by Ms. Snow. She read excerpts from the final order and said those findings characterize the recommended order.

Ms. Lentino read a brief statement related to the case. She said that Ms. Snow told administration that she needed more help with classroom management. Ms. Lentino said she knows the school culture has changed and we need to acknowledge how those changes impact teachers. We need to develop a supportive school culture by including restorative practices in our educational model.

(Copy to be found in Supplemental Minute book #169.)


XI.              Consent


MOVER:              Carol J. Cook, Board Member

SECONDER:              Terry Krassner, Board Member

AYES:              Flowers, Long, Lentino, Cook, Krassner, Lerner, O' Shea

1.              Request for Approval of Minutes: To Approve the Minutes of the Regular School Board Meeting of April 11, 2017

Approved as submitted.


2.              Request Approval of Personnel Recommendations

Approved as submitted.

(Copy to be found in Supplemental Minute Book #169.)


3.              Request Approval of the Administrative Appointment of the Associate Superintendent, Teaching and Learning Services

Appointment approved-Mr. Kevin Hendricks.

(Copy to be found in Supplemental Minute Book #169.)


4.              Request Approval of the Administrative Appointment of the Director, Athletics, PK-12 Physical Education, and Health Education Programs and School Wellness

Appointment approved-Mr. Albert Bennett.

(Copy to be found in Supplemental Minute Book #169.)


5.              Request Approval of the Administrative Appointment of the Principal, Clearwater Intermediate

Appointment approved- Ms. Tonya Mitchell.

(Copy to be found in Supplemental Minute Book #169.)


6.              Request Approval of the Administrative Appointment of the Principal, Safety Harbor Middle School

Appointment approved- Ms. Carrie Armstrong.

(Copy to be found in Supplemental Minute Book #169.)


7.              Request Approval of the Appointment of the PK-12 Physical and Health Education Specialist

Appointment approved-Ms. Ashley Grimes.

(Copy to be found in Supplemental Minute Book #169.)


8.              Request Approval of the Appointment of the Gifted Education Specialist

Appointment approved-Ms. Coral Marsh.

Copy to be found in Supplemental Mintue Book #169.)


9.              Request Approval of Yearbook bid Selection

Approved as submitted.

Copy to be found in Supplemental Minute Book #169.)


10.              Request Approval of Adult General Education (AGE) Project $1,054,305.50

Approved as submitted.


11.              Request Approval of Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System (FDLRS) Gulfcoast Project $1,209,227.00

Approved as submitted.


12.              Request Approval of Florida First Start SR 17-01 Project $239,220.00

Approved as submitted.

(Copy to be found in Supplemental Minute Book #169.)


13.              Request Approval of Roll Forward (additional funds) to the IDEA Part B Entitlement Project $518,616.00 (new total $27,400,581.00)

Approved as submitted.


14.              Request Approval of Roll Forward (additional funds) to the IDEA, Part B Preschool Project $16,848.00 (new total $822,278.00)

Approved as submitted.


15.              Request Approval of the 2015/16 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)

Approved as submitted.


16.              Request Approval of Selling the District’s Surplus Equipment on the Public Internet Auction Site.

Approved as submitted.


17.              Request Approval to Recycle, Cannibalize, and/or Scrap Obsolete Fixed Assets

Approved as submitted.


18.              Request Approval of Bids to Vendors at Prices in Bid Documents in Accordance With Bid Policies and Statutes

Approved as submitted. 

(Copy to be found in Supplemental Minute Book #169.)


XII.              Nonconsent

XIII.              New Business

A.              Items Introduced by Superintendent

Dr. Grego's report included the following:

1) He shared an update on legislative issues and said it was a trying time for the budget. No determinations have been made. They are monitoring legislation related to testing, Title I funding, charter schools and school turnaround. He advised everyone to continue reaching out to local delegates; keeping them informed about education issues.

2) He said that last Friday, April 21, he attended the Commissioner's ESSA Input Committee meeting in Orlando. He will update the board at the school board workshop on May 23.

3) He addressed the recent events at Campbell Park Elementary and the impact on the community. He said that Principal Hoffman took ownership, apologized, and asked to step away so the school can move forward, focus on testing, and complete the school year without distraction. Our Office of Professional Standards will complete their review and we must allow that process to happen. What is known is that the work of cultural competence is ongoing. He will continue to support Campbell Park Elementary School.

4) He shared the good news that David Melnick, Lake St. George food service manager, was named the 2017 Florida School-Related Employee of the Year. Commissioner of Education Pam Steward made the announcement at a breakfast in Orlando on Friday, April 21. Mr. Melnick will receive $5,000.00 as part of this award. He added that last year's winner in the same category was Cheryl Thomas, a support employee from Pinellas County schools. This speaks of the dedication of our employees to support student success.

5) He shared that Kevin Hendrick, principal, Northeast High School, was named one of three finalists fot Florida's 2017 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership. The statewide winner will be announced June 21 at the Dr. Brian Dassler Leadership Academy. Mr. Hendrick expanded the Finance Academy and advanced placement courses; improved college enrollment rate; increased the school's average ACT score and led the effort for Northeast High School to become a National Demonstration Site for the AVID program.

6) He acknowledged Jeremy Keyser, a freshman at Largo High, who received the 2017 Yes I Can Award from the Council for Exceptional Children. He was awarded for self-advocacy. He also shared the accomplishments of three students from Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School. They are Drew Horyak, Ronald James Brooks, and Tyna Kim, who traveled to the Rochester Institute of Technology for a national deaf and hard of hearing math competition. They finished fourteenth of thirty-five teams and ranked seventeenth out of 136 players.

7) He said last Saturday the district held Parent University at Gibbs High School. There was a great turnout. Workshops, information booths, community agencies and district staff answered questions and engaged parents.

8) This morning, the Pinellas County Arts for a Complete Education Coalition hosted the annual principal appreciation breakfast. There were student performances ; jazz students from Lakewood High School; and, orchestra students from Gibbs High Schools. He thanked Al Reuchel (Bay News 9). He also thanked Ms. Jeanne Reynolds, performing arts, and Ms. Sue Castlman, visual arts, for their work with the arts.

9) He said that last night was the School Board Student Recognition Event at Largo High School. He thanked the board and said he enjoys this recognition event because of the broad range of ages and honors that are celebrated.

10) He thanked Mrs. Judith Vigue for her role in supporting students selected as National Merit semi-finalists.

11) He said that graduation season is upon us. It is a time to celebrate student success.


B.              Items Introduced by School Board Attorney

Mr. Koperski stated that he had no report.

C.              Items Introduced by the Board

Joanne Lentino: 1) She spoke about the unfortunate events at Campbell Park Elementary School, which did not go unnoticed.  It caused her to question the leadership at the school. 2) She said that she felt it was a privilege to be at so many wonderful school based events; Paul B. Stephens, Calvin Hunsinger, and Nina Harris students participated in a music program; and Carwise Middle School Little Mermaid Jr. performance. 3) She said she attended the Florida PTA State Reflection Celebration on Saturday and it was a wonderful family event. 4) She visited Gulf Beaches Elementary School and said she knows the school is on the five year capital outlay plan for additional classrooms; portable classrooms are currently on site.

Rene Flowers: 1) She cautioned students and their parents to be mindful of behaviors; some are being posted on social media; that could get in the way of graduation or completion of the school year. 2) She spoke about HB13; stating that it funds economic development and early childhood education. It is important. 3) She thanked the organizers and participants for National Council of Negro Women Young Women's Empowerment Conference 2017 held last Saturday. Thank you to John Hopkins Middle School, where the event was held. It was powerful. 4) She attended a meeting for contractors interested in participating in the Melrose Elementary School building project. At the meeting, they reviewed the credentials necessary for companies’ interested in bidding on projects. 5) She reminded parents of the Summer Bridge program; and, encouraged them to take advantage of it. 6) She said she served as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Gathering of Women, Inc., 2017 Men and Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony. She gave a shout out to Debbie Struck, a community activist with a passion for reading. Ms. Struck will donate books to our Book Bus. 7) She attended the FAST Nehemiah Action Assembly on Tuesday evening, April 24. She said that she was able to clarify the number of students utilizing the alternative placement program as an alternate to out of school suspension. As to the reading programs promoted by the FAST Organization; she said some are on our approved list; but, the district has to use programs where success can be measured. Principals have the authority to use ancillary materials. She advised them that it takes parental support and encouragement for a student to be successful. 8) She commented on the recent events at Campbell Park Elementary. She said this is never easy, but we must keep an environment that is conducive to learning and stay focused on our students.

Linda Lerner: 1) She shared her agreement with Ms. Flowers remarks. 2) She spoke about Summer Bridge. Last summer she visited some of the sites and it is a great program. She said she would like to see project learning. 3) She spoke about the extended transition program that focuses on a student's ability and teaches life skills. The educational alternative services programs are expanding at Hamilton Disston; and, since the extended transition students are serving out in the community, she sees the changes as positive. 4) She spoke about last night's School Board Student Recognition Event and how it celebrates everyone. A broad range of accomplishments are acknowledged. It represents the culmination of the collaboration between employees and students.

Eileen Long: She spoke about the teacher evaluation system. She encouraged the board to seek a more comprehensive understanding of the process. She requested the board have an in-depth training. She said that teachers and administrators are frustrated.

Carol Cook: 1) She asked for the board members to receive the documents that Mrs. Long referenced concerning the teacher evaluation system. 2) She spoke about the outstanding job FSBA is doing to keep members informed on legislation. Continue to contact your legislators. 3) She thanked Ms. Pat Wright, area superintendent, for her leadership with the recent Campbell Park Elementary issue.

Terry Krassner: 1) She said that she is aware that there is a committee working on some changes to the teacher evaluation system. (Dr. Corbett noted that this will be a topic at the May 23rd school board workshop. He added that Learning Sciences International is working with the district on a new format.)

2) She commented that situations always have different sides to them; and, she hopes there is confidence in Dr. Grego's handling of the matter. Not everything can be shared, but to understand that the district is not taking things lightly.

Peggy O'Shea: She thanked Ms. Pat Wright, area superintendent, and Dr. Grego for moving quickly on the Campbell Park situation.



Dr. Grego reminded the board of the district's interest in working jointly with the Juvenile Welfare Board and the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners to find a way to put a health professional in every school; working collaboratively with the Department of Health for a 3-5 year plan.






D.              Review of Board Requests

Dr. Corbett stated the following board requests:

- more training on the teacher evaluation appraisal system

E.              School Board Meeting Evaluation

The evaluation of the meeting followed the adjournment of the meeting; and, the results are as follows:


-Dr. Grego's report-especially Campbell Park


-microphones not working on dias for speakers

-deciding when to respond to speakers

XIV.              Adjournment

There being no further business to be brought before the School Board, this meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m.







Superintendent and Ex-Officio Secretary

XV.              Public Speakers

Following the adjournment of the meeting, the following individuals shared their comments:

1. Lenore Faulkner

Ms. Faulkner shared her personal experiences.

2. Ken Rash

Mr. Rash spoke about the pay for substitutes in Pinellas County and asked that it be increased. He distributed a chart with rates for eighteen other districts.

3. Michael Anderson

Mr. Anderson shared his viewpoint on the recent event at Campbell Park Elementary.

4. Pamela Morse

Ms. Morse shared that she is a hospital homebound teacher and shared her viewpoint on the teacher evaluation system.

5. Tom Bedwell

Mr. Bedwell spoke in favor of retaining the electricity program at Career Academies of Seminole.

6. Jim Gill

Mr. Gill spoke in favor of retaining the electricity program at Career Academies of Seminole. He shared a handout with the board citing reasons to retain the program.

7. Megan Brunelle

Ms. Brunelle, parent, shared her concern that her child's teacher may not be assigned to his school for next year due to projected enrollment.

8. Jackson Brunelle

Jackson Brunelle, student, shared concerns that there are too many students in his class.

9. Jinia Parker

Ms. Parker shared her viewpoint on the recent event at Campbell Park Elementary and requested more transparent and timely updates from the district.

10. Mark Klutho

Mr. Klutho shared his environmental concerns.

11. Susan Spaulding

Ms. Spaulding, teacher, requested an employee climate survey.

12. Krystal Blackshear

Ms. Blackshear, parent, Midtown Academy, spoke about her desire for her daughter to have the best education possible and her difficulties with the district application process.

13. Chelsea Jackson

Ms. Jackson, parent, cited an incident at Lealman Ave. Elementary School involving her child.

14. L.S. Blatter

Ms. Blatter, teacher, shared her concern with her course assignment and other educational issues.

15. Mike Gandolfo

Mr. Gandolfo, PCTA, spoke about the Cynthia Snow case.

16. Robin Ramsey

Ms. Ramsey shared her views on the recent event at Campbell Park Elementary.

17. Betsy Roller

Ms. Roller, teacher, Hamilton Disston, stated that she was speaking on behalf of her students and their concerns with the plan changes to the extended transition program.

18. Paula Stephens

Ms. Stephens, teacher, Eisenhower Elementary, spoke about her issues with the co-teacher model.



This session ended at 7:31 p.m.