Tuesday, November 13, 2018


Marlene Sokol

Marlene Sokol

Marlene Sokol has worked at the Times as a reporter, editor and columnist since 1988. After launching North of Tampa in 1996, she served first as its editor and later as a general assignment reporter specializing in the suburbs. She now covers education in Hillsborough County.

This signed photo of Robert E. Lee was for sale at a 2009 auction in St. Petersburg.  [TIMES FILES]

Nearly 100 ideas to rename Tampa’s Lee Elementary

From the obvious to the ironic and back again, Hillsborough residents racked their collective brains to find the best new name for Lee Elementary School.MaryEllen Elia was suggested, for the last superintendent.But that won't...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Victoria Arriaga, left, does a letter-matching activity during Priscilla Perez's pre-kindergarten class at West Tampa Elementary School last month. Pre-K programs run by the Hillsborough County School District could be one reason kindergarten readiness is up this year, officials said. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]

Hillsborough takes heart from a new number: More kids were prepared for kindergarten this year.

TAMPA — Hillsborough County educators are pointing to a significant upturn in the number of kids who showed up for kindergarten this year ready to learn, a key indicator that bodes well for students as they move through the public school...
Published: 11/12/18
From the Lee Elementary School website, here is what hallway displays looked like before the fire. [HCPS]

Hillsborough County School District will consider renaming Lee Elementary

Tampa, let's name that school.With the Hillsborough County School Board committed to rebuilding fire-ravaged Lee Elementary, the time has come to decide what to call it.Students, parents and teachers call the place "Lee." But the...
Published: 11/08/18
Updated: 11/09/18
Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins, seen here at a town hall meeting in September, appeared at some 100 events to make the case for a school sales tax. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]

How Hillsborough sold a school tax in just 10 weeks

TAMPA — The clock started ticking on Aug. 24, the day the Hillsborough County School Board voted to take the plunge.District supporters had just 10 weeks to sell the public on a half-cent sales tax to support the schools' capital...
Published: 11/07/18
Hillsborough County School Board candidate Steve Cona. [Cona campaign]

Hillsborough School Board 1: Cona defeats Person

The winner will serve out the remaining two years of Susan Valdes' term.
Published: 11/06/18
Hillsborough County school board candidate Karen Perez. [Times files]

Hillsborough School Board 6: Perez topples Washington

The two are running for a districtwide seat that was held previously by April Griffin.
Published: 11/06/18
Sickles High School seniors Eva Hilton, Tate Wymer and Celia Balch took a shift Tuesday waving signs at the Westchase public library to support the schools tax referendum in Hillsborough. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]

Hillsborough voters approve sales tax hike for AC, other school improvements

The tax would remain in effect for 10 years and is expected to raise $1.31 billion. Of that, roughly half would be used for air conditioning improvements.
Published: 11/06/18
Sickles High School seniors Eva Hilton, Tate Wymer and Celia Balch took a shift Tuesday waving signs at the Westchase public library to support the schools tax referendum in Hillsborough. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]

Students press for Hillsborough schools tax

With hours of voting still to go, Hillsborough County students took posts Tuesday at polling sites to support a half-cent sales surtax for school air conditioners and other capital needs."We're getting smiles," said Eva Hilton, 17,...
Published: 11/06/18
MONICA HERNDON | TimesRust is seen on pipes in the air conditioning pump room at Westchase Elementary School, seen during a media visit to the school on September 21, 2018 in Tampa, Fla. The school district released a list of projects to be completed should the referendum pass in November. The projects include air conditioning, roofing, security measures and classroom renovations. At Westchase Elementary School the work will include new air conditioning, painting and updated playgrounds.

Hillsborough school tax vote: What you need to know

The very last item on the ballot asks if you'll pay a half-cent higher sales tax to support capital needs in the schools.
Published: 11/05/18
Updated: 11/06/18
Kim Moore has been principal of Tampa's Middleton High School since 2014. [TRIBUNE FILES]

Kim Moore will leave her job as principal of Middleton High

Middleton High School principal Kim Moore is soon to be promoted to a district position.But she is not leaving Middleton right away.Pending approval by the School Board on Dec. 4,  Moore, 61, will replace Tanly Cabrera...
Published: 11/05/18