2 Collier principals removed as summer shuffle begins

Kamela Patton, Collier County Public Schools superintendent, on NewsMakers 5-20-12.

Kamela Patton, Collier County Public Schools superintendent, on NewsMakers 5-20-12.

Frederic E. Conde

Frederic E. Conde

Two Collier County principals have been removed from their positions as school grades loom and the annual summer shuffle ensues.

Superintendent Kamela Patton also hired Fred Conde, a former colleague from Miami-Dade County Public Schools, to serve as the district's assistant superintendent.

Patton said she removed the principals at Everglades City School and Big Cypress Elementary from their positions, but wouldn't address specific reasons for swapping principals at this time.

Everglades City School principal Cherise Brummer will be reassigned to another position within the district, Patton said, but will not be moved to a principal position at another school. When asked whether Big Cypress Elementary Principal Robert Murray was fired, Patton said his annual contract was not renewed.

The district also is searching for candidates to fill principal roles at Highlands and Avalon elementary schools and at Lely High School.

"We're not overly rushing to fill them," Patton said. "Avalon is what I consider a fragile school. With the wrong person it could take a dip and with the right person students could outperform."

The principals at Lely and Avalon resigned. Highlands Elementary Principal Sean Kinsley was reassigned to be principal at Big Cypress Elementary, which received an A from the state last year.

The district moved Mike Davis Elementary Principal Bob Spano to be principal of Everglades City School, which received an F from the state last year. Spano, who has been with the district for 32 years, hopes to give Everglades students a sense of pride and ownership.

"We want the kids to love their school," he said. "We do that by getting them to take pride in it, enjoy it and be active in it."

Everglades is a K-12 school with fewer than 200 students that faces unique challenges because of its small population. Spano said he hopes to provide more advanced placement classes for high school students by allowing them to take classes online.

"We'll be doing some teleconferencing, hooking up with an AP class from Naples High," Spano said. "Students can actually be sitting there in Everglades and getting the same info"

Conde will replace retiring Assistant Superintendent Dave Stump.

Patton did not open the assistant superintendent position to anyone in the district because she said no one met the qualifications necessary to fill it. On the district's organizational chart, Conde is one of six of Patton's direct reports, along with Chief Operations Officer Michele LaBute, who was a finalist for the superintendent job last year.

"The superintendent called me to bring me here because she feels that I will enhance her team and enhance, in some way, the Collier school district," he said. "I'm ready to help in any way I can."

Patton said there could be more principal changes once school grades are released by the state in the next few weeks. Conde will help with those changes.

Part of Conde's duties include overseeing principals and school operations in addition to developing the district's strategic plan. According to the salary schedule on the district's website, Conde makes about $120,000 a year.

Conde has more than 20 years of experience as a teacher, principal and administrator in Dade schools. He was most recently the district administrator for school operations there.

"I bring a diverse experience; a different set of eyes," Conde said. "I bring an ability to be able to work with principals, help with problem solving, and enhance on the initiatives already in place."

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 39

cornandbeans writes:

"Part of Conde's duties include overseeing principals and school operations in addition to developing the district's strategic plan"

Isn't that the superintendant's job?

Bureaucracy at Collier County's best.

If you don't think we are in a two class society - the bureaucrates who have everything and the peons formally known as the middle class - you have your head stuck in the sand!

Sane_in_Florida (Inactive) writes:

in response to cornandbeans:

"Part of Conde's duties include overseeing principals and school operations in addition to developing the district's strategic plan"

Isn't that the superintendant's job?

Bureaucracy at Collier County's best.

If you don't think we are in a two class society - the bureaucrates who have everything and the peons formally known as the middle class - you have your head stuck in the sand!

And they juggle teachers and principles around every single year and think that's a good idea when all it does it create uncertainty, instability, and confusion year after year.

This county (or SWFL for that matter) couldn't run a roadside prison trash pickup successfully. It's pathetic!

BillyBob1 writes:

This Musical chairs with Principals has got to be very aggravating for them. If you do too good a job they move you. If you suk at your job they move you. I guess the lesson here is no matter what don't get attached to your School or community because you could be out in a flash.

lapalabra writes:

I recall when Supr. Thompson played staff dominos and brought in "outside" staff the Naples Paper and education community went bonkers. Where is all the concern and angst now?

The new super hires an "insulating" assistant that will be in her debt on-going and loyal only to her. Also is Patton’s job so hard that she now has to delegate all her Principal management to an assistant? A new position? $120,000 a year addition when we are raiding the budget reserves??? I guess she will have time on her hands now. Maybe to write a book or apply for a job in another state. Or to hob-knob more.

LeBute was a FINALIST for the superintendent job but now, by Patton’s measure, isn’t even qualified to be an assistant? Wow, that hurts. And in the $1 Billion school district, no one appears to be qualified to be a replacement principal?

Where is the outrage? Where is the concern for people? Where are the parents protesting the loss of their principal? I detect an odor in the air…

old_yella writes:

Just to make sure everyone knows:

1. Dave Stump is coming back in the fall, so she created a position for her 'buddy' from Miami.

2. Conde's wife was hired as a pool teacher, with 3 weeks of school left? total favortism AFTER cutting hundreds of staff apparently this is money to hire her friends from Miami Dade.

I fear there are many more on the way yet, everytime I have heard her speak she says, " I have the BEST time here in Collier. You're full of BS Kam. If that was the case, promote from within. Pathetic...

It's shocking that the board is going along with all her ideas. School board, the public urges you to wake up and HOLD HER ACCOUNTABLE!

Jarvis (Inactive) writes:

Conde has been hired to be the hatchet-man, and take out anyone that is not falling in line with the new regime. It is all about POWER and POLITICS in the School Board, nothing about EDUCATION.

Ironage writes:

in response to Jarvis:

Conde has been hired to be the hatchet-man, and take out anyone that is not falling in line with the new regime. It is all about POWER and POLITICS in the School Board, nothing about EDUCATION.

Yes exactly my thoughts. Conde is the hatchet man.

local64 writes:

So they brought in the Fresh Prince of Belair!

McLady writes:

Let's hope the hatchets fall in the right places. There clearly are school administrators who have done more harm than good. Principals who are doing a good job should stay put. Principals who are driving good people away and fool the public by lying about how great things are at their schools should have gotten the hatchet years ago.
Ask students and teachers how they feel about their principals.

napleschik writes:

in response to lapalabra:

I recall when Supr. Thompson played staff dominos and brought in "outside" staff the Naples Paper and education community went bonkers. Where is all the concern and angst now?

The new super hires an "insulating" assistant that will be in her debt on-going and loyal only to her. Also is Patton’s job so hard that she now has to delegate all her Principal management to an assistant? A new position? $120,000 a year addition when we are raiding the budget reserves??? I guess she will have time on her hands now. Maybe to write a book or apply for a job in another state. Or to hob-knob more.

LeBute was a FINALIST for the superintendent job but now, by Patton’s measure, isn’t even qualified to be an assistant? Wow, that hurts. And in the $1 Billion school district, no one appears to be qualified to be a replacement principal?

Where is the outrage? Where is the concern for people? Where are the parents protesting the loss of their principal? I detect an odor in the air…

Sadly, if you do the research this is how it is done. New supers surround themselves with loyal people that can be trusted to get the job done.
LaBute was here through all of the bad stuff and I don't believe she was qualified to be the super. She didn't get chosen. The job hasn't been done for many years. Get over it and support the decision of the board or vote them out. You didn't cry and scream when Curatolo was re-elected without a challenger. "Where is the outrage? Where is the concern for people? Where are the parents protesting the loss of their principal? I detect an odor in the air…"

dogmama writes:

why cant this district get rid of more bad principals, for example Veterans, Golden Gate Elementary, Estates, Gulfview Middle, Corkscrew Elementary, Naples High, and Parkside. Instead they stay and cover up and all suffer. So very sorry to see Avalon loose such a great person. Dr. Nolan you will be missed by all!!

sunnidgrl writes:

in response to dogmama:

why cant this district get rid of more bad principals, for example Veterans, Golden Gate Elementary, Estates, Gulfview Middle, Corkscrew Elementary, Naples High, and Parkside. Instead they stay and cover up and all suffer. So very sorry to see Avalon loose such a great person. Dr. Nolan you will be missed by all!!

I heard that Dr. Graham from Naples High is moving to Barron Collier High..not sure if that is correct.. but it is what I have heard.. of course..after she gets rid of the NHS Band Director.. Grrrrr

justme writes:

in response to sunnidgrl:

I heard that Dr. Graham from Naples High is moving to Barron Collier High..not sure if that is correct.. but it is what I have heard.. of course..after she gets rid of the NHS Band Director.. Grrrrr

Does that mean Barron's principal is leaving as well? Where is he going?

MisterK writes:

I have zero criticism about the report on CCPS detailed in this article. The Superintendent is doing her job as she sees fit.

justme writes:

in response to MisterK:

I have zero criticism about the report on CCPS detailed in this article. The Superintendent is doing her job as she sees fit.

I agree with the current moves, but she needs to take a look at several other principals in the county who are not doing their jobs properly. When a principal isn't an effective leader, that trickles down through the teaching staff. But, unfortunately, the teachers are the only ones to get the blame. Hopefully, Dr. Patton is putting the magnifying glass on other schools as well. She should take a look at the survey that teachers took awhile back regarding their principals--that would be a great place to start.

sunnidgrl writes:

in response to justme:

Does that mean Barron's principal is leaving as well? Where is he going?

Sorry I left that part out I also hear BCHS Principal is transferring to Lely.. I think

sustainable writes:

I don't know if Ms.Patton made the right decision to hire Mr.Conde with our budget being so tight. BUT this could be a very smart move to help our principals in struggling schools bring their FCAT scores up.
I hope Mr. Conde has his eye on strategies to raise FCAT scores as like it or not IT IS ALL ABOUT THIS TEST. I'd like to see FCAT strategies incorporated in EVERY class at the same time on the same day. That way ALL teachers are on the same page and are really attacking FCAT directly. Tackling each strategy, compiling data and reteaching / tutoring those who are struggling with specific strategies until they master their problem areas. This can apply to a majority of students - there will always be exceptions but those students can be addressed in different ways (too long to go into here).
I am very concerned with providing a well rounded education for our students. Not every student is strictly core subject orientated. Providing alternatives will lower the drop out rate and offer introduction to a wide variety of careers. There are scores of ultra talented students in many "elective" areas (electives can be medical, poetry, law studies, etc. as well as the standard variety of art, music, P.E. classes) that should be sacrosanct when discussing budgets.
These classes are the "soul" of our schools !
I think Ms.Patton has done an outstanding job so far. Every decision she makes seems to have balance. Not all she accomplishes will make everyone happy - IMPOSSIBLE .
Hopefully we all take time to consider the positive with the negative and continue to preserve a truly world class education for our most precious resource - our children.

wonderful (Inactive) writes:

in response to Ironage:

Yes exactly my thoughts. Conde is the hatchet man.

Has he passed the FCAT?

Don't forget that the School Board is still supposed to be in charge, eh?

justme writes:

in response to sustainable:

I don't know if Ms.Patton made the right decision to hire Mr.Conde with our budget being so tight. BUT this could be a very smart move to help our principals in struggling schools bring their FCAT scores up.
I hope Mr. Conde has his eye on strategies to raise FCAT scores as like it or not IT IS ALL ABOUT THIS TEST. I'd like to see FCAT strategies incorporated in EVERY class at the same time on the same day. That way ALL teachers are on the same page and are really attacking FCAT directly. Tackling each strategy, compiling data and reteaching / tutoring those who are struggling with specific strategies until they master their problem areas. This can apply to a majority of students - there will always be exceptions but those students can be addressed in different ways (too long to go into here).
I am very concerned with providing a well rounded education for our students. Not every student is strictly core subject orientated. Providing alternatives will lower the drop out rate and offer introduction to a wide variety of careers. There are scores of ultra talented students in many "elective" areas (electives can be medical, poetry, law studies, etc. as well as the standard variety of art, music, P.E. classes) that should be sacrosanct when discussing budgets.
These classes are the "soul" of our schools !
I think Ms.Patton has done an outstanding job so far. Every decision she makes seems to have balance. Not all she accomplishes will make everyone happy - IMPOSSIBLE .
Hopefully we all take time to consider the positive with the negative and continue to preserve a truly world class education for our most precious resource - our children.

So, you think the art teacher, the Spanish teacher, the math teacher, the PE teacher should be teaching to the test instead of teaching their subject area? What's the point of having all those classes. We might as well have FCAT prep class from 7:10-2:05.

Instead of ranting about that, how about the parents who truly see the damage this testing culture has caused, go out and lobby to get rid of it. There are OTHER ways to evaluate teachers. Right now, your child's MATH teacher has 50% of his evaluation based on how well your kid did in FCAT READING! Ha! Now *that* will tell you how much math your child learned in his math class! Seriously, parents need to get out there and LOBBY, LOBBY, LOBBY.

SayMan writes:

Dogmamma:

A reasonably accurate list, but you left out Shadowlawn.

redbarn11 writes:

Ms. Patton best be doing a good job!!! NDN posters
somebody here said she was doing good job'
She gets paid 250,000 a year... plus her own car from the county!! 2nd Stop rotating the School Principals around the county every year. U bunch of clowns and your decisions ? hmmmm

terrysue writes:

I don't understand if LaBute was a finalist for the superintendent's job, why she wouldn't be qualified for assistant superintendent. It looks like Patton just wanted to start bringing in her Miami cronies, and don't be surprised if she brings in more, like Thompson did.

NaplesMarty writes:

I don't like the idea of having my child's principal changed. She gets used to one, then they bring in another? Where is the benefit? Are we forgetting these decisions affect the students? I don't see where the benefit of continuous change is good for them, especially when it comes to someone in a higher leadership position like the principal. My older kids had the same principal their entire elementary school education. They knew the principal and looked up to him. Can someone please explain?

frykadoo writes:

Well Done! Mr Murray was a joke!

swfl_ff writes:

in response to terrysue:

I don't understand if LaBute was a finalist for the superintendent's job, why she wouldn't be qualified for assistant superintendent. It looks like Patton just wanted to start bringing in her Miami cronies, and don't be surprised if she brings in more, like Thompson did.

Doesn't really matter. Both LaBute's position and the Assistant Superintendent's position are on the same level. Both answer directly to the Superintendent. One job oversees the schools and the other job oversees the support functions of the district.

swfl_ff writes:

I was somewhat disappointed that Patton felt that there was no on in house to replace Dave Stump but it is her call to make. I just hope that she does not feel she has to bring in all her old cronies from Miami like Thompson did with the Rockford crowd. I believe she was more than likely looking for someone with a strong backround in running schools that have a lot of diversity in their student bodies. Like it or not the make up of our student body here in Collier is changing rapidly is now more diverse than ever.

I also somewhat expected there would be some other changes coming this summer. Patton has had a full year now to access the entire district and the schools so by now I am sure she has a strong opinion on what is working and what is not. I think there is more changes still coming, at least I hope so. As has been mentioned by some of the others there are a number of principals in the district that need to go in my opinion.

HOMEBOY2 writes:

Musical Principals in the High Schools are NEEDED BIG TIME...NHS is a joke... That woman is nuts....

naplesthoughts writes:

in response to frykadoo:

Well Done! Mr Murray was a joke!

Ditto!!

sustainable writes:

JustMe -
FCAT initiatives can be taught through integration of the test taking strategies into any subject area.
I'm NOT saying this takes the place of the curriculum in any elective class. It actually can enhance problem solving skills analytically. Any teacher worth their base pay can integrate FCAT into their curriculum with a little creativity.
That what really great teachers do best.
Do I like having to teach this in my classes ? NO
Can I integrate ? yes
Like it or not the FCAT is here until it's not. Trying to help my students navigate their way is my job.
As far as changing principals, it is hard on elementary but unfortunately life is all about change and how to adapt. Changing a principal every couple of years is not good but if a principal has been in a position for 4 or more years and they want to move on then the new and old principal can work to make the transition smooth and less painful.
There are some principals that have lost the confidence of their staff and don't feel supported by the staff. A hostile workplace is agony for everyone. These principals should be shifted and hire the qualified staff from within the schools. There are many outstanding teachers or other administrators that are qualified to be principals.
Slash and burn people's jobs in a reckless manner is not sound professional practice unless there is gross negligence, unprofessional behavior, etc.
When I grew up ( mom was a teacher for 35 years) our family was a part of the school community. We supported and cared about one another. We actually helped one another.
Today our schools need to work with each other instead of infighting. Recognize and celebrate one another instead of : my department is more important than yours mentality or my grade level is more vital than yours...Encouraging relationships within the schools benefits everyone.

dmarko326 writes:

musical chairs...
three ring circus...
keystone cops...
chinese fire drill...
politics getting in the way......
spending the tax payers money like it was monopoly money..

florida_cracker writes:

I remember when I went to college many years ago that the professors didn't teach a test, they taught content. That content was what they tested on at the end of the course. Why in the world do we feel like we have to teach kids to do well on the FCAT instead of just teaching kids the content and the basic skills they need to succeed when they graduate?? Something along the lines of how to think critically?? Or maybe how to understand concepts and apply them to other situations??

We have overcomplicated the education process to the point where nobody bothers to talk about teaching kids anymore.... its all about teaching them how to pass a standardized test....

/rant

ArmyTop writes:

I fully supported hiring Patton because the alternative was LaBute. After the transportation coverup, the information technology fiasco and now the hiring of this new assistamt superintendent's wife (3 weeks before school ended) and placed in a teachers pool, obviously shows favortism and more MONEY for the family of a new administrator already starting at $120,000 per year. This school board is loaded with spineless members that should be replaced sooner rather than later.

CloudMom writes:

I like current Gulfview Middle School prinicipal. The principal before him was good too. My kids grades and scores have been rising under their staff. NHS leadership with their principal, that is another issue. Wish RoseAnn was still around.

lemonjello writes:

in response to dmarko326:

musical chairs...
three ring circus...
keystone cops...
chinese fire drill...
politics getting in the way......
spending the tax payers money like it was monopoly money..

Can you support this list or is this just a rant of stupidity?

Notthesame writes:

Someones got to have miami ties for when they connect our counties. Soon this will be West Miami Beach.

dogmama writes:

how can anyone like gulfview's principal when he does nothing. there is no interaction among students and parents and he dodges all confrontation. get rid of him and bring back order to our once well run middle school. look into how many arrests and disturbances have been rising in this one fabulous school!!!!
chidren are bringing weapons in because they are being bullied and yet Mr.Huilesman continues to hide this and doesnt take a hands on approach to stop the bulling going on in his school!!

my-opinion writes:

School administrators need to be replaced with faculty senates, who have real budgetary control. District administrators need to be accountable to those senates. Cut about half of the do little administration jobs at central office.

Taxpayer_vs_Govt writes:

in response to MisterK:

I have zero criticism about the report on CCPS detailed in this article. The Superintendent is doing her job as she sees fit.

This is sort of a cross-post, as I put this in the
other thread about the Supers ContracT Extension.

It's like this: Employees of the district who have been here for greater than 10 years, know whats been going on.

Labute + Patton = Petry's re-instatement. Never should have happened.

Labute + Patton = Budget cuts that effectively removed at least one key executive secretary that
HELD her directors (previous and present) department together. Along with many others that got a "screw job".

I hope those of you who have posted their praises of this administration, never have to work in a hostile environment like CCPS. You definitely are not employees, or you would never support what's going on.

Too many of you non employees do not have a clue, nor will you, about what's been happening in and around CCPS. You will not see it in the media. And if things are reported, they generally are brushed on, and fade away.

99% of employees will NOT post here. The fear, threat and intimidation is that strong. When a person is afraid to exercise their GOD given, inalienable rights to express themselves, in a blog or thread, there's something amiss.

Lot of things and persons, not up to par over these many years at CCPS...

Anybody remember Faerber killing himself ?

Or the likes of White, Calabrese, Baker, Marlin, Hamblett......

Most smart employees now, (since the administration has again, effectively shot itself in the foot), just do what they can. They collect their check, and go home.

This administration, and certain departments, have essentially mangled their employees morale, by their actions. They set the absolute worst examples, then expect loyalty and "give it your best" attitudes from the employees they are screwing ?

C'mon, the employees didn't get hatched under a cabbage plant....

Admin and taxpayers, you are getting what you pay for. The taxpayers are THE only one's who can effect change. And that is voting time. For Pete's sake, please vote the board out, with the exception of the one who did dissent, when the May meeting was held for the budget whacking.

CCPS is in for a bad ride for a long time it seems. Things will continue to get worse. I would give the admin 4.0 in maintaining what i call "eye wash".
The Cadillac gleams from the outside, whist inside, there is rust and rotting going on.

And why do the employees stay, if it's bad out there ? They can't complain about anything, basically because of the "fear, threat and intimidation" factor that you can cut with a knife.

Or the economy and no place else to go.

Or nearing retirement, and "just trying to hang on, for dear life", hoping you don't get "terminated", or your contract ceases to exist, the next school year, etc etc....

skipperdz writes:

This principle truffle shuffle is a joke. Different schools have different needs. You cannot compare village oaks to avalon. or Everglades to Naples, Lely or Gulf Coast. These schools have different social and economic lines. Just because you have a principle succeed in one location doesn't mean you move them to another place. If they are failing a school they need to be removed not transferred. If successful they should be rewarded by STAYING where they are needed, that way the students, parents and staff continue to benefit. You don't pull them out and throw someone else in there. Any time management changes hands, new management has to leave their fingerprint on their new location for better or worse, and it's usually for later. Don't fix what is not broken.
Of course Patton would say no one is qualified, who would you rather have below you, a friend from where you came or someone who ran against you? We've seen this before, but we never act until its too late.

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