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Hillsborough County School Board

Joe Henderson: Supporters of MaryEllen Elia now get chance for revenge at ballot box

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Things really got nasty around the Hillsborough County School Board in early 2015. That’s when four of the seven members voted to fire Superintendent MaryEllen Elia. They didn’t like her brusque and dismissive style. They felt Elia believed the board worked for her, not vice versa. The move was, to understate matters, highly controversial. Oh, who am I kidding? I can think of few things the board has ever done that created the stir that did. Those who voted in…

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Hillsborough school district OKs $2M for injured football player

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

The family of a high school football player who suffered a serious brain injury is getting a $2 million settlement from the Hillsborough County School board. The Tampa Tribune reports the settlement agreed to Tuesday is the largest the district has paid. It also creates the district’s first protocol for addressing traumatic head injuries. Sean McNamee was 16 when he hit his head on machinery while playing catch with Wharton High School teammates before an Oct. 9, 2013, practice. The…

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Bob Buckhorn’s foot-in-mouth problem

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Chicagoans don’t like Tampa very much right now. And that’s not just because their beloved Blackhawks got bested by the Tampa Bay Lightning in Saturday’s Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals. It’s because they can’t buy tickets to playoff games at Amalie Arena. Owners have a controversial policy that includes not selling tickets to people with out-of-state addresses. In an interview about the policy prior to Game 2, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn likely made it worse. “We didn’t want…

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Tampa Bay Times finds a new reason to loathe April Griffin

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In a Memorial Day weekend editorial, the Tampa Bay Times blasted Hillsborough County School Board member April Griffin for voting against an employee termination. On the surface, its editorial seemed undisputedly spot-on. Ben Hill Middle School teacher Adam Reynolds was charged by officials with hosting an all-girl pizza party in order to introduce the girls to his teen brother – Internet video sensation Carter Reynolds. Reynolds had been told by the district not to have the party, but did so anyway…

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MaryEllen Elia about to become New York state’s new education chancellor

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It looks like MaryEllen Elia is going to land on her feet after all. The recently ousted Hillsborough County school superintendent is about to be named New York’s next education commissioner, according to the Buffalo News. The website reports that the State Board of Regents in New York is preparing to appoint Elia, who hails from nearby Lewiston, N.Y., as its state education chief. The 17 regents were informed over the weekend to report to Albany today for a special meeting to interview Elia…

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Hillsborough County School Board hires Jeff Eakins at $225,000 annually

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The Hillsborough County School Board approved a two-year contract for new superintendent Jeff Eakins today that will pay him $225,000 annually beginning July 1, and then must be approved by the board on an annual basis beginning in 2018. The audience at the school board meeting erupted in cheers after his contract was unanimously 7-0 by the board. The 49-year-old Eakins had been serving as the deputy superintendent prior to the board selecting him to succeed MaryEllen Elia back in March. He…

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Criticizing ‘big money’ in City Council race, April Griffin forgets who helped her last time

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April Griffin took to Facebook last night to congratulate Democrat Guido Maniscalco for his win in Tuesday’s formerly nonpartisan race for Tampa City Council. The frequently critical three-term Hillsborough County School Board member offered a few choice words on the subject of Maniscalco’s victory over Republican Jackie Toledo. “District 6 residents win big in this race,” Griffin told her followers. “Chalk one more up for the good guys and not big money and mudslinging.” In calling out “ugly politics,” Griffin…

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