Leon County School (LCS) board members, during the July 9th LCS Board Meeting, unanimously approved the appointment of David Solz as the new Astoria Park Elementary School principal, despite an ongoing investigation by the Florida Department of Education (DOE) into events that led to his dismissal as Gilchrist Elementary School principal less than a year ago.
Also, there were no questions by School Board members at the meeting related to the appointment.
The FDOE investigation – first reported by Tallahassee Reports – was started after an internal investigation by LCS concluded that Solz had an “inappropriate relationship with a married teacher” that he supervised.
LCS also found Solz had violated school policy with regards to the use of school resources.
Dee Dee Rasmussen, the Board’s vice chair and District 4 representative, said the appointment and employment of school officials, such as principals, are solely at the discretion of the LCS superintendent, Rocky Hanna.
She said board members’ only grounds to vote against an appointment by Hanna is “if there are legally sufficient grounds to do so, and, to the best of our knowledge, that doesn’t exist at this time.”
However, LCS did confirm an FDOE investigation was ongoing.
In a response to a public records request by Tallahassee Reports, dated July 15, 2018, LCS Technology & Information Services’ Julie Jernigan said, “We cannot release any information while the DOE investigation has not concluded.”
Rasmussen said she met with legal counsel in the past about this matter but not immediately prior to the vote.
“We didn’t have sufficient grounds to vote against his appointment,” Rasmussen said.
She continued, “It is important to note, he did self-report. He was disciplined and removed from his position for some time (since September 2018). On the advise of legal counsel, we did not have any legal grounds to vote otherwise.”
District 1 board member Alva Striplin declined to comment on the matter, other than to say it was an unanimous vote and standard procedure.
District 5’s Georgia “Joy” Bowen, simply said it was completely the prerogative of the superintendent. Other board members were unreachable for comment.
Rasmussen suggested questions about Solz’ appointment were best answered by Hanna.
Tallahassee Reports plans on reaching out to Superintendent Hanna.
LCS has an unbelievably high number of incompetent principals but nothing happens to them. The super is very aware of the issues but ignores staff who share information with him. Until we get a superintendent to get rid of these folks nothing will improve. Of course, the individual would have to not be guilty of similar infractions.
Hanna will not address this. You can email all you want and NEVER get a response from him or his glorified communication person. He finally got his best buddy to the district—Scott Hanson. When will he get Cathrine there?
Rocky Hannah is the epitome of Tallahassee corruption. He’s the poster boy!
I went to Hartsfield Elementary, Fairview Middle School, Rickards High School, TCC and FSU. There is no way on gods green earth I would trust that murderers row of miscreants with my child’s education. No way!
Seems like everyone has an excuse why this guy is still allowed to collect a paycheck from LCS. Maybe it’s because his buddies are looking out for him, including the one on the county commission. Maybe it’s because they all engage in the same kind of vile behavior. Either way, I am sure he’s pleased as punch that he has been reinstated. When he inevitably costs the county a huge settlement for sexual harassment, then something may be done.
Astoria Park parents, you may want to protest the installment of this person into your school, he is a distraction and a deplorable person who has no business in education.
Rocky dated a teacher he supervised and evaluated, then he bullied the teacher into a monetary settlement with a transfer which is against the Educator Code of Ethics by Florida Regulations. Does the school board act? No.
Rocky admitted to the school board attorney Hank Code, that he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing in Leon Schools by the former Superintendent but yet Rocky knowingly submitted a notebook to TV stations, newspapers state and federal authorities tin which he gathered the information for and admitted he wrote the purposely misleading summaries in each section costing taxpayers over $600,000 to investigate. The U. S. Attorney said the former Superintendent did nothing wrong. Does the school board submit Hanna for discipline? No.
Rocky Hanna has enacted a “hit list” that is against fair labor standards even though board members are aware of the names on the list. Does the board act? No
Leon Schools has one of the largest achievement gaps between wealthy and students of poverty. Does the board demand a plan? No
Rocky Hanna is enabled by the silence and collective inaction of the school board. The enablers go beyond board members to his appointed non interviewed $100,000 per position Assistant Superintendents.
It seems Leon County principals are treated the same way pedo priests are – wait a little, then shuffle them around.
The School Board members are not correct. Per the law, “The district school board may reject for good cause any employee nominated.” Its not the Superintendent’s prerogative at all, the Board could have stepped in. That’s the who;e point of having a Board, so no one individual has all the power.