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Four apply to direct WTI

By BARBARA BEHRENDT

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 13, 2000


INVERNESS -- Four applicants, including one teacher who has worked at the school for several years, are vying to become the new director of the Withlacoochee Technical Institute.

Jimmie Bryant, who has been on special assignment at WTI since 1997, is the only local applicant on the list.

Among her jobs, Bryant has served as liaison between WTI and Central Florida Community College, a placement specialist, WTI public relations coordinator and coordinator for WTI's program advisory boards and she has worked on various school-to-work projects.

Before that, Bryant was the facilitator for the cooperative diversified education program and was a business education teacher at Citrus High School.

The other applicants meeting Friday's deadline are:

Donald Brown, a school and district-level administrator who retired from the Hernando County schools in 1997. He retired as the assistant superintendent for secondary and post-secondary programs; he also has been assistant superintendent for operations.

Brown served for five months in 1995 as interim Hernando County superintendent. He also was a high school and middle school principal and an assistant principal and teacher in schools elsewhere in Florida.

Steven Hand, campus administrator for an adult education program and countywide adult education services in Lake County. Hand has held several positions in Lake County, including serving as the director of the Lake County Area Vocational-Technical Center. He also served as director of the St. Augustine Technical Center and worked in several other administrative positions at that school over a 22-year period.

Dianne Westcott, principal of the Suwannee-Hamilton Technical Center in Live Oak, previously served in various positions in the Division of Workforce Development for the Department of Education. Before that, she worked as a teacher and in several administrative positions in schools elsewhere in Florida.

Three other applicants for the job were rejected for not meeting the requirements of the position.

The directorship of the school became open when Superintendent Pete Kelly announced several weeks ago that he will not reappoint Steve Kinard to the position. Kelly has said he wants to be sure that the school is moving in a new direction, and Kinard didn't fit with that plan.

Kelly said last week that he doesn't have a specific time frame for filling the job. He just wanted to be sure he placed a qualified person in the position. At today's regular School Board meeting, Kelly will recommend that the institute's remaining two assistant directors -- Mike Miller and Fred Conley -- be reappointed for the 2000-01 year.

Kelly said the two should be able to keep operations running at the school until a new director is selected.

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