may soon have a change in leadership, but its not the change that some wanted to see.
"We are not done fighting," former school nurse Cathy Brown said.
Others hope that the surrounding the school will settle down soon, for the sake of its students.
The district announced early Thursday that, pending school board approval, Superintendent Heather Fiorentino be moved from assistant principal at Connerton Elementary School to assistant principal at Denham Oaks Elementary School.
Claudia Steinacher, the current assistant principal at Odessa Elementary School, is recommended for appointment as assistant principal at Connerton.
“What they’re doing is senseless,” Brown said. “They’re trying to pacify us and we’re not going to be pacified.”
Brown said she other others want Connerton pricipal Anna Falcone removed because of tactics that amount to “intimidation and retaliation.”
Brown at its meeting Tuesday, detailing her experiences with the administration, including an incident in which Brown was pushed out of a door by Carswell. A police report was filed and Brown was subsequently put on administrative leave at Falcone’s instruction, she said.
Connerton resident Bryan Gifford, who pulled his children out of the school a year ago, said the proposed administrative change would not tempt him to re-enroll them at Connerton.
“Wendy was not the problem at Connerton, she was following orders, just as a vice principal should. Wendy, when working for Jill Middleton was completely different to work with. When Anna came to Sanders, the school changed, Wendy changed and not for the better,” Gifford said.
Gifford drives 14 miles each way to drop his children off at Learning Gate Community School in Lutz, where he said the focus on education rather than test scores and school ratings “puts Connerton to shame.”
“Anna Falcone did me a big favor and forced me to look at the education the Pasco Unified School District is providing, and in my opinion they are missing the mark,” Gifford said.
Not everyone feels that way.
Some supporters of Falcone have indicated that they feel strongly that she’s doing a good job, but do not wish to be pulled into a public battle by going on the record.
Connerton has accomplished a lot in the past few years, assistant superintendent David Scanga said.
“Student achievement is our core focus,” Scanga said. “A school’s success in terms of achievement is one thing, but schools thrive on positive culture.”
“We need to continue to study the culture at Connerton and make improvements, and we can do this,” Scanga said.
The district has confidence that Falcone can work with Steinacher to build a climate and culture where students and teachers thrive, but all the stakeholders have to work together, he said.
Connerton PTA president Lori McCandrew said the school’s volunteers are excited and ready to get the school year started on a positive note.
The organization already has plans in place to start the year with Boosterthon, a 9-day event that focuses on physical activity and team building, pep rallies and positive reinforcement.
“It’s just a great way to start the year,” she said.
Plans for variety of other activities also are in place, from family nights and book swaps to a Christmas shop for the students and an opportunity to have photos taken with Santa.
“I would like to see everything go back to a positive and peaceful environment for our kids,” McCandrew said.
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