St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Letter to the editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message


Seminole principal calls it a career

Rick Misenti of Seminole High retires after 31 years in education.

Published July 20, 2007


Rick Misenti, principal of Seminole High School since 2001, has retired.

Misenti, 52, was a 31-year veteran of the Pinellas County School System.

Misenti could not be reached for comment.

Seminole Mayor Jimmy Johnson said he went to Misenti's going-away bash and gave him a key to the city. Misenti, he said, is moving to Connecticut to be near his son, who just graduated from law school.

"He is a wonderful person," Johnson said. "He was a student's principal. He loved the kids."

Johnson stood beside Misenti at Seminole's graduation earlier this year and was impressed that Misenti gave each of the 425 graduates an individual compliment as he shook their hands.

"I was just amazed by that," Johnson said. "I was so impressed with that. It was just very heartwarming that someone would take the time to do that."

In 2006, Misenti was named outstanding high school principal of the year by the Florida Association of School Administrators and the Florida Department of Education, taking top honors for outstanding leadership in the district and the region.

Seminole High's 2,900-plus students earned many honors during Misenti's tenure.

One of the most noteworthy accomplishments was when Seminole's band was asked to march in the 2005 Tournament of Roses Parade. It was one of 17 bands in the world to be asked to march that year and the first Pinellas County band ever to be asked.

The students raised the $250,000 necessary for the trip.

Misenti was known for going to great lengths to encourage his students to achieve. He promised in 2003 to shave his head if the boys soccer team made the final four semifinals in Class 3A. If the team won the championship,

Misenti promised he would shave his head and his mustache.

The team won the championship and during a school lunch break, Misenti allowed a team member to shave his head and mustache.

[Last modified July 20, 2007, 06:46:27]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters