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Longtime principal to step down

Craig Marlett of Crystal River High, principal for 18 years, will be seeking a teaching position.

By BARBARA BEHRENDT

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 1, 2001


CRYSTAL RIVER -- Craig Marlett, who has led Crystal River High School for 18 years, is stepping down as principal at the end of June. Marlett, 60, has been suffering for some time from an old injury and is seeking a teaching position instead.

His job was posted Monday, along with eight other administrative positions which are open in the district for the 2001-02 school year.

Filling an opening for a high school principal was a daunting task before employee shortages and high school overcrowding; now it will be a difficult challenge for the Citrus County school district.

The job ofCitrus High School principal is also up for grabs because Superintendent David Hickey decided not to reappoint Citrus principal Gary Foltz for the new school year, a move Foltz has said was a surprise.

Marlett was reportedly undergoing a medical procedure on Monday and could not be reached for comment.

"He's been in a tremendous amount of pain," said School Board member Ginger Bryant, who said Marlett was feeling so bad he even missed a high school accreditation team who visited the school last week. Marlett had been working for two years to prepare the school for the visit.

"They passed with flying colors," Bryant said, noting that it was sad that Marlett couldn't be there to see it himself.

"He's a fine man and a great educator," she said.

Marlett is among the school administrators with the longest continuing tenure in his current job. He came to Citrus County in 1967. Marlett had been teaching biology in St. Petersburg when a friend working at the Marine Science Station told him about the area.

For three years, Marlett taught biology at Crystal River High School, and he served as the junior varsity football coach. Then he became assistant principal and finally principal.

Marlett was selected in 1989 to be part of a team of educators and business leaders who traveled to Japan to study and learn about the educational system there.

Hickey has said that he expects some difficulty in filling the open administrative jobs and that finding qualified applicants for high school principal openings was going to be a particular challenge.

The timing isn't good either.

All three of the county's high schools are at their capacity, and an influx of more students is expected.A large bubble of teens is expected to move through the schools and further stretch their available space over the next several years.

The district has other positions to fill.

Along with Foltz, Hickey also decided he would not reappoint personnel director Sam Stiteler and planning director Bob Brust. Those jobs are also posted. Hickey didn't reappoint his two executive directors, Bill Humbaugh and David Watson, but those jobs have already been filled by Jim Hughes and Mary Curry.

Hughes' current job, coordinator of student services, and Curry's position as principal at Citrus Springs Middle School are also posted.

Homosassa Elementary School assistant principal Kevin Banks, who for years was principal at Hernando Elementary School, is retiring and his job is posted.

Both assistant principals at Crystal River Middle School, David Hoyle and Jeffrey Walz, are leaving, and their jobs are posted as well. Walz is the administrator who was charged with shoplifting in March and accused of leaving the Inverness Wal-Mart with merchandise he had not paid for.

The deadline for applicants for the nine posted positions is May 11.

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