Licata’s separation deal slashed, black history museum site
recommendation, and more

Licata’s separation deal slashed, black history museum site recommendation, and more

Around the state: Broward school board members slashed the proposed separation agreement for outgoing superintendent Peter Licata, a task force is recommending that the Florida Black History Museum be located in St. Augustine, three Broward high school administrators have been cleared of an allegation that they allowed a transgender girl to play with the school’s girls volleyball team, some school boundaries in Lake County will be redrawn for a new K-8 school opening in 2025, DeSoto County teachers will start at $50,000 a year under a contract agreement, and Northwest Florida State College trustees make a surprising choice for the interim presidency. Here are details about those stories and others from the state’s districts, private schools, and colleges and universities:

Miami-Dade: Several teachers at Joella C. Good Elementary School in Hialeah are being credited with saving the life of a 9-year-student who collapsed during school Friday. One of them, Jorge Parra, quickly applied the fibrillator and shocked the boy’s heart back into rhythym. The student is recovering in the hospital. WPLG. WTVJ.

Broward: Outgoing superintendent Peter Licata’s tentatively negotiated separation package was slashed Tuesday by school board members. He will leave the district July 1 without a $60,000 consulting contract, a $1,200-a-month car allowance and other benefits, and will be paid at a lower per-day rate for his final five weeks of work. Licata initially rejected the reduced package, but agreed to it after two consultations with his lawyer and a text from his wife that said, “you’re not known for the money you made in your life. You’re known for the difference you made in children.” Sun Sentinel. WTVJ. Three Monarch High School administrators have been cleared of allegations that they violated state law by allowing a transgender girl to play on the girls volleyball team. Principal James Cecil, assistant principal Kenneth May and athletic director Dione Hester will return to their jobs today, said a district spokeswoman. Sun Sentinel. WSVN. WTVJ.

Palm Beach: Graduation ceremonies have been held for Park Vista and Forest Hill high schools. Palm Beach Post.

Duval: School board members are expected to select a new superintendent Thursday. One of the things they are looking at closely is Christopher Bernier’s exit as superintendent from the Lee County School District, which is moving to an elected superintendent. In April, Bernier unexpectedly turned in his resignation after previously saying he would stay on until Nov. 24. Board members quickly negotiated a severance package that became effective April 9 and paid him in full for five months and also included a provision that the district would pay any legal expenses, a point that became relevant when Bernier was named in a federal discrimination suit. The other finalist is Daniel Smith, chief of staff at the Loudoun, Va., schools. Jacksonville Today.

Polk: Graduation ceremonies have been held for Bartow, and Kathleen high schools, and the Summerlin Academy. Lakeland Ledger. Lakeland’s Youth Council is asking the city commission to provide more nighttime activities for young people and to communicate to them through social media. Members of the council are high school students. Lakeland Now.

Pinellas: Students from Dunedin High School graduated in a ceremony held Tuesday. Pinellas County School District.

Lee: Students from South Fort Myers and Ida S. Baker high schools graduated in ceremonies held Tuesday. Fort Myers News-Press. The historic Bonita Springs Elementary School would be renovated under a proposal recently taken to the school board for consideration. The school, built in 1921, was severely damaged by Hurricane Ian. Changes would include larger classrooms, better safety measures, a larger cafeteria, a clinic and more outdoor spaces. The price tag is $35 million. District officials are working with the state to determine what parts of the school can be rebuilt and how to preserve the historical features of the school. WBBH.

Pasco: The district will provide free meals this summer to students 18 and under. Connerton, Lacoochee, San Antonio and Watergrass elementary schools will offer curbside meal pickups each Tuesday from 11-11:30 a.m. Breakfasts and lunches will be available Monday through Thursday at various other schools. Suncoast News. WTVT.

Brevard: Graduation ceremonies were held Tuesday for Cocoa Beach, Heritage, Merritt Island, Rockledge, Titusville, Melbourne Central Catholic and West Shore high schools. Florida Today

Volusia: Students from DeLand High School received their diplomas in a ceremony held Tuesday. Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Lake: District officials have proposed rezoning school boundaries in the south part of the county to ease overcrowding and fill a new K-8 school that will open in the fall of 2025. “The county is expected to grow more than 43 percent in the next 25 years,” according to a district video explaining the plan. “South Lake is likely to see the bulk of that growth. Elementary schools in this area of south Lake are operating at 91-142 percent of their permanent capacity and middle schools are as high as 116 percent of permanent capacity.” Daily Commercial. A Plantation-based private school company, American Heritage Schools, has bought a 57-acre property in Mount Dora for almost $4 million. The land is currently zoned for agricultural use. WFTV.

Leon: A graduation ceremony was held Tuesday for Rickards High School. Tallahassee Democrat.

Alachua: School board members have approved an application from the nonprofit Palm Breeze Youth Services to start a charter school in the former Reichert House facility, which had housed an after-school program for at-risk youth. Reichert closed last year because of financial problems. The school is expected to open in the fall of 2025 for about 30 male middle school students. Mainstreet Daily News.

Santa Rosa: Milton High School’s graduation ceremony was Tuesday. Pensacola News Journal.

Bay: Students from Rutherford High School graduated in a ceremony Monday. Panama City News Herald.

Martin: Students from Jensen Beach High School were awarded diplomas during the school’s graduation ceremony this week. TCPalm.

Charlotte: Starting in the fall, Charlotte High School 9th-graders will have the option of taking classes that will teach them technical skills for aerospace industry jobs. High school seniors have been able to dual-enroll for the aviation, airframe and powerplant mechanic program. WINK.

Citrus: Almost 200 students graduated this week from Withlacoochee Technical College. Citrus County Chronicle.

DeSoto: The starting salary for district teachers has been raised to $50,000 after a contract agreement was reached between the district and the union. Every teacher will also get a $2,000 raise  and a percentage increase based on experience. WFTX.

Gulf: Charles Gathers, a prison guard and pastor in Port St. Joe, has announced his candidacy for the District 4 seat on the school board. He, Equillar Gainer and Heather Jones are challenging incumbent Marvin Davis. Port St. Joe Star.

Colleges and universities: Northwest Florida State College trustees surprisingly offered the interim presidency to Cristie Kedroski, a senior vice president at the school, instead of Henry Mack, the vice president of academic affairs. If Kedroski accepts the job, she could get a raise from her current $160,000 to as much as $250,000. She would replace Devin Stephenson, who was chosen last month to become president of Florida Polytechnic University. News Service of Florida. A hearing is set June 18 for arguments in Florida State University’s lawsuit against the Atlantic Coast Conference. FSU wants to leave the conference, and the ACC wants FSU to pay a hefty exit fee. Among the issues to be decided are whether the suit can be heard in Florida, and whether the ACC’s motion to dismiss should be granted. News Service of Florida. A former University of Florida football recruit is suing the school, coach Billy Napier and a booster over a failed name, image and likeness deal worth nearly $14 million. Associated Press.

Black history museum: The Florida Black History Museum should be located in St. Augustine, a state task force recommended Tuesday in a 5-4 vote. St. Augustine edged out Eatonville, the nation’s first incorporated black municipality that is located close to the state’s theme park-based tourism. Unless the task force reconsiders its decision at its final meeting in June, its recommendation will go to Florida’s four ranking legislative leaders — two from each party — and Gov. Ron DeSantis for a final call. Orlando Sentinel. USA Today Florida Network. WKMG. WJAX. WJXT. WTLV. News Service of Florida. Central Florida Public Media.

Opinions on schools: The idea that students would return to Leon County’s public schools if the district’s logo had new look or if they just knew how many great things the public schools have to offer, however well-intentioned, is just not grounded in my experience teaching in Florida public schools for 46 years. Jen Bennitt, Tallahassee Democrat. For Democrats, trying to silence students protesting the Israeli war in Gaza is both risky and wrong. Martha Schoolman, Sun Sentinel.

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