Escambia School Board Fires Superintendent Tim Smith

May 17, 2023

The Escambia County School Board voted 3-2 Tuesday night to terminate appointed Superintendent Dr. Tim Smith effective May 31 and named Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Keith Leonard as interim superintendent.

The motion to terminate Smith was made by board chair Paul Festsko (pictured left) and seconded by Kevin Adams. Board member David Williams was the third vote in favor, while member Patty Hightower and District 5 member Bill Slayton were opposed to the termination.

Festko said administrators in the district do not feel as if they were being led by Smith. “It’s uncomfortable. I can’t believe the number of principals that we have lost…I care about this school district.”

“I voted for the superintendent when he came in. I do not believe it is in our best interest with him in that position going forward,” Festsko said.

“It’s just remarkable that you would throw the district into this kind of turmoil at this particular time,” Slayton (pictured left) told Fetsko before a pause. “We have a lot of experts that act like they know how to run a school district. You participated in the hiring, you participated in the research, to pick one, but the people sitting out here who work for us, that’s where the turmoil is going to be….I’ve been through nine superintendents; nothing has ever been smooth. Everytime we change, we have turmoil in the district.”

Slayton continued, “This is no time to be doing this. I’m sorry, this is wrong. It’s a surprise at the last minute. I’m very disappointed. I almost want to say this has been a Sunshine Law violation. There’s got to have been a discussion on this.”

“Our district is hurting,”Williams (pictured left) said. “If you would interview a lot of the administrators, they are hurting. Teachers are hurting…We are losing administrators; we are losing teachers. We are losing students. Anybody would be in a tough situation right now being superintendent. If we really care as a board, we do what we think is best. ”

“If you are accusing me of a Sunshine Law (violation), I don’t speak to any of you outside of this (the board) room, and I don’t talk to any of you outside of being in this room. Not my part,” Williams added, looking toward Slayton.

Fetsko also denied any Sunshine Law violations. He said he had told Smith that he would move to terminate the contract. Fetsko said he withheld two pages of notes that he did not include in his written superintendent evaluation as to not disparage him, but did say Smith’s communication is poor.

Smith began his comments criticizing Festsko and Adams.

“There’s something bad that exists here. There’s something toxic that exists here. You all want to fire me; I think the answer would be for the two of you to resign from your positions. What’s the difference, is it you or me, right? I guess you outnumber me. If you care about kids, as you said, we need to do things right. But to constantly undermine and constantly seek to get me out,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of toxic stuff going on. How much poison has dripped on that podium over the past six months? It’s been extensive. It’s been ridiculous, actually. We are about kids.”

“I will hold my head up high because I have invested…my wife has been an amazing loyal individual and sacrificed, gave up her dream job in Orlando to do this.,” Smith said. “At least I can put my head on the pillow that I put everything I could into it. I fear for the future of this district. ”

Smith gathered his things during the discussion. After the volte, he walked out before the last few minutes of the meeting.

In 2018, Escambia County voters narrowly approved a ballot referendum for an appointed superintendent, with 50.36 voting yes and 49.64 percent voting now. This was the sixth time voters had considered the idea of an appointed superintendent in the county; all of the other attempts failed.

The term of then superintendent Malcolm Thomas ended in 2020, and Dr. Tim Smith was appointed as the new school district boss. images, click to enlarge.


65 Responses to “Escambia School Board Fires Superintendent Tim Smith”

  1. MinnesotaReufgeeToPensacola on May 22nd, 2023 6:15 pm

    Disband all public schools. Make them be run by private corporations and non-profit groups. Remove a. Unnecessary layer of government and taxation.

  2. Retired teacher on May 19th, 2023 6:43 pm

    Circus without a tent

  3. Bewildered on May 19th, 2023 8:55 am

    After reading all the comments I found that „straight shooter“ nailed it. Warrington Middle School cannot be fixed until parents take responsibility for their kids. Might as well close it down completely because that‘s never going to happen!

  4. Klem on May 19th, 2023 3:17 am

    Good luck finding any self-respecting competent administrator that would be willing to come down to this clown show. County and state. One thing I have noticed since moving here 15 years ago is that all the politicians here are arrogant know-it-alls and unprofessional. Demagogues, all of them.

  5. MJ on May 18th, 2023 7:19 pm

    I agre with a lot of the comments that Escambia county school district has a bigger problem than firing the Superintendent. This school district has been in trouble for years and the board expect a man a new Superintendent to change this mess around in 2 years, that was unrealistic. The board should have let the man stay until his contract ended. I hope the board did not violate no laws and have the Superintendent sue Escambia County school. This is a mess!

  6. Steve on May 18th, 2023 5:43 pm

    Tallahassee crowd didn’t exactly save the day .

  7. Jlb on May 18th, 2023 9:18 am

    First I think Mr. Leonard will do his best. YOU CAN’T FIX WARRINGTON MIDDLE until students an parents are held accountable. Great teachers are there. It starts at HOME.

  8. Current Employee For 30 Years on May 17th, 2023 10:25 pm

    Escambia County Public Schools = Corruption and Incompetence.

    Employees with high school diploma that make $120 a year.

    Employees with high school diploma that supervises other employee with a Master’s Degree.

    Massive and extreme nepotism district wide.

    Move your children to another district…nothing has changed in 30 years.

  9. Scott V on May 17th, 2023 9:49 pm

    About time. SLayton is in his eighties and disconnected with reality. Not surprised he stuck up for Smith. Maybe something can be done about expanding Achieve Academy to 475 students.. Smith said it was because expanding enrollment. Not so. Escambia County has always had between 28 and 30 thousand children. The reason to expand the alternative school is to give up on these children. Easier to send them to a failing for profit alternative school then to work beyond some infractions of The student handbook. One fight and these kids are thrown out of school for a year. What a joke. This is what Bill Slayton stands for. Sad thing about this whole situation is we are loosing these kids in middle school. This guy and two board members have done irreparable damage to the future of these children.

  10. straightshooter on May 17th, 2023 9:32 pm

    I don’t care who the superintendent is, you cannot fix Warrington school until the parents take some responsibility for their children.

  11. Ray on May 17th, 2023 8:27 pm

    The Tate mafia wasn’t happy with the vote to appoint a school superintendent. They wanted their own chosen successor, Leonard. They couldn’t just appoint him becuase of how it would look. So they hired outside and then throttled the new guy. Most of the board has been hostile since day one. Dr. SMith was an educator not a politican, but politicans want politicans.
    How is someone from the same group going to fix the problems. They, the board, blame everyone but themselves. They have all been in a position to take action for years, as board members and administrators. Just listen to the talk about Warrington and trying to blame the State. Why was the State involved to begine with? The board was failing the students, that is why.

  12. JR on May 17th, 2023 8:01 pm

    Our school board is an embarrassment to the citizens of our county.
    They share the blame for failure.

  13. northofI10 on May 17th, 2023 6:08 pm

    ‘Not the only reason for the failure(s).

    Look at the school district leadership past and present. Some still remain and want to continue their political careers. When the failures have been widely noted and pointed out and those that have been a part of that failing culture remain then it cycle will continue. Names do not need to be mentioned but if like so many that are aggravated by the career/establishment politicians on the state and federal levels of government then why allow the same folks to remain over many years. Seems as though the failing continues and the failing leadership remains in place. A vicious cycle and it’s the education of the country that has and continues to suffer. Yet, those that are responsible are able to cash their checks and pat themselves on the back rather than doing what is right and responsible for the education system that they all claim to ‘love’ even as the ship continues to sink.

  14. Cassandra on May 17th, 2023 5:33 pm

    Has the school board even taken a look at Warrington Middle School. It needs a total make over….who wants to go to a middle school that looks like a total prison from the outside.

  15. good luck ECSD on May 17th, 2023 5:30 pm

    Shenna Payne should be interim superintendent, she is the deputy superintendent currently. She would do a much better job. Keith Leonard will ruin this district. No employee wants Mr. Leonard in this position. Why was Mrs. Payne skipped over for this position, seeing as she is next in line?

  16. Steve on May 17th, 2023 4:21 pm

    Somebody out there can get Warrington Middle School functional . Come on !

  17. Bonnie Exner on May 17th, 2023 3:52 pm

    This is why I HATE POLITICS…my thoughts on the subject:
    No one person is responsible for the decline in public school in Escambia County..It takes a village to educate a child
    Always remember that the PARENT( S) should be the first and foremost TEACHER of their children …when parent(s) become too busy making a living, the quality time spent with their children suffer
    Because of the 2 above reasons, public schools have been assigned more unfunded mandates by the state legislators to teach much more than the 3 R’s…Reading, ‘ Righting, and ‘ Rithmetic.
    Discipline has declined on the home front as well as in the classroom.
    Inspite of all the problems in our schools
    I am here to tell you that there are many dedicated teachers, staff and administrators in our county that give 100% of their accumulated efforts to educate and inspire those children that come through their classroom doors.

    From a former Warrington Middle teacher and present day volunteer mentor of TAKE STOCK IN CHILDREN.

  18. Benjamin Sevcik on May 17th, 2023 3:28 pm

    Keith Leonard is not the answer. I would not trust him running the Escambia County animal shelter.

  19. Bill on May 17th, 2023 2:51 pm

    @ Teacher

    I want you to know I believe you about that cover up from the district and shifting the blame to the teacher. People might not want to believe it but that’s how they operate. I don’t care about Tim Smith getting fired. I don’t care about any of them. The only thing that bothers me is why they did it. Charter Schools USA is garbage. But on the other hand, Warrington Middle is a dysfunctional nightmare and has been for years. Frankly, there’s no reason for anything but pessimism for the future of Escambia County Schools. There’s nothing on the horizon that suggests anything will change for the better.

  20. Jeff on May 17th, 2023 2:26 pm

    Good riddance. Now to get Slayton out of that seat. He’s a leach.

  21. emjay on May 17th, 2023 1:49 pm

    Why wasn’t the Deputy Superintendent considered? She is not a politician-type and is excellent.
    I think he was made in part a scapegoat. He alone did not create the delays; the board is also entirely culpable. Now the Warrington Middle School will go to Charter Schools – a fiasco in my opinion. From research, they have not really truly served their students, but instead manipulate them for statistics.
    My students have all done well and their teachers seem dedicated to EDUCATION, but I can tell the pressure the teachers are enduring when they have to deal with all the extraneous BS that teachers are burdened with including having to PARENT some of the kids whose parents have FAILED them in their upbringing.
    I agree some of the books shouldn’t be in the kid’s libraries–they can read them when they get older.
    I don’t know who to trust. In my opinion, both the current school board AND the majority of the voters are now not trustworthy to make a decision that is actually good for the kids instead of selfish interests.

  22. Just another teacher on May 17th, 2023 1:29 pm

    Dr. Smith isn’t the only problem in the district, but he is part of the problem. He had a couple of years to influence forward progress; it didn’t happen. Instead, the school district spent untold amounts of money on rebranding from the Escambia County School District to Escambia County Public Schools…which meant a rebrand and redesign of the website, as well as anything else that has the county logo on it. Plus, they spent a great deal on resources to send out what are essentially propaganda fluff-piece videos to faculty detailing the new “mission statement” and other meaningless jargon…and they put thousands into publicizing all of this in a commercial. What is there to advertise? Education is compulsory in the US…every kid has to go to school! So why are we spending money to advertise? There’s no product to sell. So is someone getting a kickback here? If that much money is being wasted, you’d figure someone (or multiple people) are skimming somewhere. Regardless, I hope the best for our county. We do have some good talent downtown, if they wind up in the right positions. I hope this straightens out. And Warrington…..that’s going to be a mess regardless. It is what it is. It doesn’t matter what teachers or admin are there if there is no support at home. We’re seeing an uptick in poverty and absentee parents (some who are still physically present of course, but…well…they’re mentally checked out—drug issues, poor prioritization, etc). And I would agree that what happens at the elementary levels plays a key part in high school. Too many kids make it past 3rd grade due to “social promotion,” but in all honesty many should have repeated it. There is a transition around that point from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” If we don’t get them over that hump by 3rd grade, they are in the hole for their entire educational journey, more often than not. Support your local teachers. Most of the ones I know are trying.

  23. Sam on May 17th, 2023 1:26 pm

    There are plenty of “A” rated schools in the state of Florida. Why doesn’t someone make an effort to visit one and use it as a model for our schools? This finger pointing and trying to hire an individual as a “Hail Mary” school system savior does not work. Our entire system is faulty. Time to re-think the program with fresh eyes and minds.

  24. Teacher on May 17th, 2023 1:13 pm

    Good riddance! The whole district needs a revamp. The students are running the circus. We had a teacher completely get thrown under the bus for DEFENDING HIMSELF against a violent student. The teacher was in no way aggressive while the 18-year-old student waited and attacked him and had to be pulled off by two other adults. The student got a slap on the wrist while the district suspended the teacher and docked his pay for 10 days. Nothing has been reported because it might make the district look worse. The video has disappeared to make it harder for the teacher to appeal. And this is all at the district level, not the school. There are classes with 70% failing because kids are so disruptive the teachers can’t teach. They ask for help. Nothing. The disrupters might get ISS for a day or two and then they are right back. Nothing has been reported because it might make the school look worse. The video has disappeared to make it harder for the teacher to appeal. And this is all at the district level, not the school.

  25. the answer is? on May 17th, 2023 12:49 pm

    @ not.the.answer, Funny you say every school district employee dreads working for Mr. Leonard. I’ve spoken with a dozen or two school district employee’s today and they’re all pretty happy to see this. Maybe you just don’t know the right employees?
    I’ll agree that this is much deeper than Dr. Smith but to say everyone dreads working for Mr. Leonard is a pretty far reach. It’ll take a change in mindset in parents as well as employees to make this any better than it is currently. I doubt there’s going to be any improvement.

  26. David Greene on May 17th, 2023 12:25 pm

    Who will Studer find now?

    He’s the one who started the campaign to not elect a school superintendent…

  27. Escambia County Resident on May 17th, 2023 12:21 pm

    The Escambia County School District does not support its teachers. Bill Slayton does not support the residents of his district and will never get my vote again. I made a decision to overlook Bill Slayton’s past because I thought he might be a decent school board member, but I was mistaken. Bill Slayton has a very “seedy” past as a teacher at Tate HS and an administrator.

  28. Hoosier Daddy on May 17th, 2023 11:59 am

    I’m pretty sure Dr .Smith was forewarned. Normally, when a candidate for an executive county position is hired and comes from outside Escambia County. He, or she, will be reminded, or should be, of the “good ol’ boy” system and to keep his back to the wall and to watch his rear.

  29. Christy on May 17th, 2023 11:56 am

    I am pulling 2 of my kids from Escambia County Schools after the end of this school year. They don’t listen to the parents. They don’t care about the kids. No direction. This School system they have is going to crumble even further. The kids and patents hate the online system with no instruction. Teachers don’t care. They just send huge quantities of homework home with no instruction and expect the parents to do the teachers job. Then they fail after all the effort if they don’t TEST TEST TEST!.

  30. not.the.answer. on May 17th, 2023 11:49 am

    Every district employee knows Keith Leonard is not the answer. No one wants him as superintendent. He will only continue to hinder this district. This issue with Warrington was way before Dr. Smith’s time in Escambia County people, wake up. The last superintendent is to blame for Warrington failing consistently, and providing no support. Dr. Smith was used as the scapegoat. Now every employee has to dread being under Mr. Leonard. Thanks guys. IF YALL WANT CHANGE, REMOVE THE CURRENT BOARD MEMBERS.

  31. Jason on May 17th, 2023 11:48 am

    @ Barb….

    Getting older doesnt always bring wisdom. Look how many older people keep committing the same crimes and returning to jails…. just sayin!

    Bill Slayton is in his fourth term. Patty Hightower is in her fifth term. The problem with Warrington Middle has been kicked down the road year after year after year. They have been a continuous part of the problems the past decade.

    Dr Smith was hired to be a leader and implement the changes desperately needed to improve our schools. It hasnt happened. We cant keep following the same failed path. Its time for a change in leadership and a new vision. Some days the old dogs just dont hunt.

  32. Cynthia on May 17th, 2023 11:21 am

    If Warrington Middle School an F school every year, the school board, superintendent and administrators need to take look at the elementary schools the students attended. Maybe that is the problem. If the students not getting or mastering the basic skills and techniques to learn in elementary school; they can’t catch up in middle school. The blame goes back at least twenty years. This issue did not happen under Dr. Smith watch, he inherited this mess during one of nation must difficult time. So, if the school board and DOE want blame someone start with themselves. Of course, the superintendent bears some responsibility but so does the ones before him. We the community and as parents of the students are to blame as well. Half of us do not like change but it was time to get rid of old ways and try something new. The Escambia school system is the good ole boy network, it not what you know but who you know. Mr. Leonard may not the answer either but maybe part of the problem. I’m very disappointed in the schoolboard they all need replacing but they will mean change and we know we can’t have that. We are struck in yester year.

  33. Willis on May 17th, 2023 11:12 am

    Good points for certain.

    But I’ve voted for Bill enough times and seen enough that I have gained the WISDOM not to vote for him again.

  34. time to go on May 17th, 2023 11:02 am

    While I don’t agree that it was ALL Dr. Smith’s doing, he IS solely responsible being in this position, and his failure to move in a positive direction is his ultimate downfall. Watching him lash out at Mr. Fetsko and Adams reminded me of a middle schooler saying, “I know you are, but what am I” and it was very much beneath someone of his stature to do so. From a personal standpoint Slayton and Hightower are the primary players that got the Smith game going and they BOTH need to go. Slayton has become nothing more but the proverbial “thorn in the side” as Dr. Smith so eloquently stated of Adams and Fesko. Ms. Hightower needs a little time to reflect also and start thinking what this district needs as a whole, instead of her personal desire to hire someone that will reflect her own agendas. Slayton got downright snotty with the other members (specifically Adams and Fetsko) and throughout the years has shown over and over how little he wants to compromise with either of them to move something positive forward. Maybe the board will resign collectively and we can start all fresh? Now there’s an idea.

  35. Agreed on May 17th, 2023 10:54 am

    Madison Rep, I completely agree. The issues with the district didn’t start with Dr. Smith, we have been declining as a district for many many years. People just need someone to blame, and since Dr. Smith is new and goes against many people’s views, they’ll just blame him so they can sleep better at night.

    Is Keith Leonard going to magically fix the districts problems? Nope.

    And who implemented PBIS? Sure wasn’t Dr. Smith, and that’s where our downfall began. When kids can cuss out teachers, walk out of class, sleep instead of work, not come to school and still magically get A’s, vape in the bathrooms, etc., and face no punishment, that’s when things got bad. These kids are walking all over us and nothing can be done.

  36. Bill on May 17th, 2023 10:49 am

    This is about not giving Charter Schools USA a carte blanche sweetheart deal after their lobbyist, Ryan Petty, who used his daughter’s murder at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as a stepping stone into the gun lobby’s infiltration of our school safety protocols to be a DeSantis lackey. These people will use the corpses of children as stepping stones into the DeSantis fascist regime.

  37. P'cola on May 17th, 2023 10:43 am

    How can “closing the school” be the solution to a failing school? The school is just a physical asset.

    The problem is that the students are not studying or the teachers aren’t teaching or some combination. Why not swap all the teachers and administrators from the best performing school in the county to the worst and visa versa? This will clearly reveal whether it is the present teaching staff and administration failing the school or the student body itself. If it’s the teachers they can be replaced. What’s the solution if it’s the student body at large?

    The super should be elected otherwise nobody will support him in this county.

  38. Mike C on May 17th, 2023 10:25 am

    By law the school board makes policy. The Super just acts as an executive. This board and previous boards are solely responsible for the state of Escambia public schools. Watering down referrals. No student gets a failing grade. Kid scores a 10 he gets a 60. Kid gets a 65 he gets a 65. That’s why we have students in high school operating at a 3rd grade reading and 7th grade math level. Students assaulting teachers both physically and verbally. Look at the record and see when the last time a school in Escambia county scored a grade higher than 74. That school is top of the heap and considered an “A” school. Found in public record in FLDOE. A teacher to be considered an “A” teacher must score a 95 or higher. :) Last but certainly not least is teacher pay that went from 2012 and 2% raise every year. Now we have a $200.00 raise every year if you are a regular standard teacher. Thats a 2% in 2012 to now a .4%. Teachers were never in it for the money but when you show such disregard for them along with the previously mentioned policies they go to NFCU or other similar type jobs.

  39. Madison Rep on May 17th, 2023 10:09 am

    Keith Leonard is not the answer. He’s a Malcom Thomas protege. Another good ole o boy. The school district started declining well before Smith arrived. Smith never had a chance. He definitely didn’t’ help his cause by hiring other qualified outsiders. The wheels on the good ole boy bus will continue to go around and around. The Escambia County school district will continue to decline and rank as one of the lowest in the state until the core and root of the problem is addressed.

  40. Just me on May 17th, 2023 9:56 am

    It’s about time. You dug this hole. You require the teachers to commit and sign a contract saying there going to be there the next year weeks before the end of school year. Then on the last day of school you throw out a surprise and move all these principals around and completely change the working/teaching environment. You upset the whole system with this last minute, sneaky move. People matter, there lives are important to. This was a BAD move that hurt a lot of people in my opinion. That’s just one of the many, many bad ideas you had. Go let your wife pursue her dreams now.

  41. RaD on May 17th, 2023 9:18 am

    A 50% simple majority should not have been used. It should have required 2/3rds of voters to change to an appointed superintendent.

  42. Jay on May 17th, 2023 9:11 am

    Not sure what is worse, having the fate of educational leadership placed in the hands of five uninformed individuals or or a 100,000 uninformed individuals. Guess we are about to find out…

  43. Tim on May 17th, 2023 9:10 am

    The problems in the Escambia County school system run much deeper than just firing the superintendent …

  44. TB on May 17th, 2023 9:05 am

    I have to admit I’m not on top of the issues going on with the Escambia School system but I just read that “Everyone’s hurting” from the Commissioner on down to the Students, it’s probably complicated but just what is going on?
    Is there a common thread here?
    Depending on who you ask the higher up the chain you go it’s always about more money and I’m not completely buying that reason, it’s “How” you use your resources.
    I’ll bet the Students would have a different take on it.
    I probably need to start attending some of these meetings (If they allow the Public to attend them)

  45. Speaktruth on May 17th, 2023 8:55 am

    Honestly I feel that the superintendent was an escape goat, teachers and administrators leaving are because they are not paid the salaries as other counties, also some of the ones leaving are not liking the change that was needed in our achools and don’t like that they have to do the job the way it’s supposed to be done. Not asking for a debate but I have seen it through the years of Malcolm Thomas until now thw good Ole boy system is in play.

  46. TEM on May 17th, 2023 8:54 am

    This was going to be My Daughters last year in Public School . Between having a Liberal Superintendent and the CRT BS he’s allowing I was done . If Keith Leonard gets the Job i will Re Consider .

  47. Barb on May 17th, 2023 8:45 am

    Doesnt matter how many terms,
    Older means wisdon,
    Not retirement!☹

    Thats why customer service,
    Have gone to the dogs!☹

    Why most kids been n trouble &

  48. Hope on May 17th, 2023 8:40 am

    My prayers go out to Dr. Tim Smith and his family. It is a truly a sad occasion. The school district was in turmoil before he became the superintendent and it wasn’t going to be corrected overnight. It takes time. There is a high turnover in all districts over the entire country, not just Escambia.

    I’m wondering why the deputy superintendent wasn’t elected as interim….HMMM
    Just a thought…

    Unfortunately, people got exactly what they wanted in the beginning. There will never be a change until the entire mindset is changed. My prayers are with the children…. they are the real losers in this situation. Praying for a change….

  49. Eyeswideopen on May 17th, 2023 8:37 am

    Stop lying the only thing you care about is the money you’re raking in !

  50. Von on May 17th, 2023 8:27 am

    Nothing will ever change in this district because it is reactionary. No one wants to do anything until it’s in dire straights. Everyone wants to act like we have just gotten into this situation in last 3 years. The last superintendent and the board allowed Warrington to rot for years. I’m surprised he didn’t resign. He never had a chance. No one ever will until people in this county actually start caring about education. We are so behind in so many ways. Just compare to neighboring districts let alone the state. The school board should be voluntary that way you the people are there for the right reasons.

  51. RWA on May 17th, 2023 8:18 am

    The voters should have never given up the right to elect the superintendent. What a waste of time since most in this area wanted Mr. Leonard in that position. He knew the school district and is respected by most from what I understand. Dr. Smith, I feel, is too liberal for our area. He states his wife gave up her dream job. That was their decision to move and that’s on them. The interstate still goes in that direction…..

  52. Rob on May 17th, 2023 7:56 am

    Good luck getting anyone decent to come here. Their best course of action would have been to let his contract expire and bring in someone new. Now, anyone who is good will look at the chaos with the board and look elsewhere.

  53. SW on May 17th, 2023 7:48 am

    Selecting the superintendent should be back in the hands of the voters.

    D5 needs a change, for sure

  54. Steve on May 17th, 2023 7:43 am

    “train wreck” .

  55. JTV on May 17th, 2023 7:39 am

    Taking the trash out

  56. mnon on May 17th, 2023 7:37 am

    Yeah, our entire county’s school system is a joke, like a laugh-out-loud joke. Old embedded politicians are the problem, and if you aren’t part of the “club” they want you out.

  57. straightshooter on May 17th, 2023 7:10 am

    Jason you are correct. I used to be a Slayton fan but he has turned into a real politician. The last tax vote he voted for did me in on him. Hightower is a liberal from way back.

  58. Stephen on May 17th, 2023 6:54 am

    They ALL need to go. The last several months have proven that they ALL are incompetent.

    Was Dr. Smith perfect? Even he admitted he had shortcomings but he was absolutely used as the scapegoat.

  59. Just Saying on May 17th, 2023 6:48 am

    It’s your turn to go Billy! District 5 voters, lets get rid of this guy ASAP!

  60. Steve D on May 17th, 2023 5:53 am

    Congratulations to Keith Leonard, he should have been named the Superintendent anyway. I’m amazed of how many administrators that Smith had hired from Orlando.

  61. Steve on May 17th, 2023 5:42 am

    Should have happened to the whole group that did the secret CRT video ; let them all try acting as a carrier . Adios

  62. Shan on May 17th, 2023 5:07 am

    This wreaks of sunshine law violation. Escambia county is as crooked as ever.

  63. Bama on May 17th, 2023 4:40 am

    After this fiasco we need to go back to a superintendent elected by the voters rather than one appointed by a few. Let the voters decide.

  64. Chris Peters on May 17th, 2023 3:42 am

    It’s funny that they are putting the total blame on him, not saying he doesn’t share some of the responsibility. The board failed to meet the deadline of May 1, and were still asking for time from the state to continue to work the issue. If a student from Warringtion Middle had a paper due on 1 May and he/she failed to turn it in on time and waited until 15 May to ask the teacher for more time, would the teacher grant the request? ABSOLUTELY NOT-the student would have been given a 0 on the 1st. How can they expect the students to live up to expectations when they don’t/can’t? The board needs to look in the mirror. Don’t have a solution on time, shut the school down, bus the kids to better schools and hope for the best!

  65. Jason on May 17th, 2023 2:53 am

    Hopefully the District 5 voters will step up to the plate and send Bill Slayton into retirement. He is in his fourth (4th) term as a School Board member. IMHO, his biggest accomplishment is reaching deeper into taxpayer wallets for money. All Slayton and Hightower can do is see how much they can raise taxes each year. Time to remove their hands from our wallets. Taxes on new growth should be funding budget increases – not tax increases.