St. Petersburg Times Online: News of southern Pinellas County
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Lealman's future yet unknown

© St. Petersburg Times
published March 3, 2002

ST. PETERSBURG -- More than 100 Lealman Intermediate School parents, teachers and students voiced their desire Wednesday for their own home, but the officials who will decide the dropout program's future were not there to hear.

A special symposium to discuss the school's future featured dancing students and eloquent pleas. It was partially funded by a $1,000 grant from Florida Power Corp. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker was there.

"The city government is not the School Board, but schools are important to us," Baker said. "We're looking around the city for reasons to draw people to our schools. We want to build community back into our schools."

Several parents said they hoped the meeting would generate citywide support to solve the school's problem -- where it will be housed after next year.

"I don't see anyone from the county or the School Board here tonight, so I guess we're going to have to do it ourselves," said Anna Scott, who has a son in the seventh grade at Lealman. "Again, I come away from this meeting with questions and not answers," said her husband, Eric.

Area superintendent Cathy Athanson attended the Lealman gathering for a short time, but had to leave for another meeting, according to Lealman principal Glenn Bailey.

"Lealman's program needs a free-standing building, a separate school," said Judy Chandler, whose son was called "stupid" in elementary school but who is now earning A's and B's at Lealman.

Lealman's 80-year-old school building is plagued with termite damage, mildew, molding walls, and myriad structural problems.

The latest proposal is to house Lealman students at Pinellas Technical Education Center on 34th Street S when the Gibbs High School technology magnet moves to the new high school. The Lealman school community is fighting that idea because they say possible mixing with adult and senior high school students and crossing U.S. 19 to reach art and physical education facilities will dilute the program's unique nature.

"The School Board has made no decision yet," said district spokesman Ron Stone. "A special committee is gathering data that will be discussed at a School Board workshop, probably in a couple of months.

"We don't want to lose the integrity of the program. It is important to keep the program doing what it is doing."

Back to St. Petersburg area news
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Special Links
Mary Jo Melone
Howard Troxler

From the Times
South Pinellas desks
  • Concerns on rise as drug arrests fall
  • Still responding to the call
  • There he is, Mr. Seminole
  • Polls open Tuesday for city elections
  • 'It's like we've lost a big diamond'
  • City to pay $796,000 for mobile home park
  • Charters, bureaucrats' terms dot elections
  • Pinellas Park vote cuts Lealman in half
  • Sign doesn't tell whole story; there's a reason
  • Boys & Girls Club event is filled to brims with fun
  • What age is best for competitive sports?
  • 'Drugs ain't white, drugs ain't black'
  • Man loses both feet in mishap at work
  • Candidates not afraid to criticize
  • B&B ordinance creates cacophony of complaints
  • Church's banner snatched
  • Candidates share ideas for council
  • A tale of 2 candidates for mayor
  • Student's death overwhelms military schoolmates
  • Cutting the commute
  • Four seek office in beach city
  • Church's bell tower easily rings up votes
  • Harmony on issues cools candidate forum's fire
  • 3 towns ready for election on Tuesday
  • Art show also exhibits trains, games and music
  • KC lets officers join state retirement plan
  • Gulfport contenders for council share stage
  • Lealman's future yet unknown
  • Council reaches out to other kids
  • Illegal dumper may pay humdinger of a fine
  • Community Center has renovation celebration
  • Trip gives student a world of ambition
  • Tarpon Springs marathoner Wehr will go the distance to compete
  • Team Bongiorno rolls to city tourney victory