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Published: Thursday, 7/8/2004

TPS has high hopes for Rogers principal

BY SANDRA SVOBODA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Tony Brashear, 40, of Toledo will begin Aug. 2 and be paid $67,161 annually. He is currently the dean of students at Leverette Junior High School, where he served as acting assistant principal during the last school year.

Before joining Toledo Public Schools in 2001, Mr. Brashear worked as a language arts teacher, assistant principal, and principal at the Ohio Department of Youth Services in Liberty Center.

He was appointed to fill the vacancy at Rogers during a special meeting yesterday of the board of education.

"Mr. Brashear will bring a level of enthusiasm and energy to the reform effort [at Rogers]," Superintendent Eugene Sanders said. "There have been a number of principals there over the last few years. We're trying to provide some stability for the high school."

According to district records, the West Toledo high school has had six principals in 10 years.

Mr. Brashear said he is looking forward to the challenge of reviving the KnowledgeWorks program.

"It's a great opportunity to make some positive changes and kind of get the building where I think and where the district thinks that building can be," he said. "It's obviously going to be a big challenge, but I relish those kinds of opportunities."

Last year, the KnowledgeWorks Foundation selected Rogers High School as the recipient of a $869,040 grant for a small schools project. A team of parents, teachers, and administrators worked throughout the school year to design four schools within the school to increase teacher-student communication and improve student learning.

But in April, 61 percent of the teaching faculty voted against the plan despite having voted last summer 89 percent in favor of applying for the grant and using the funds for schoolwide reform. A 75 percent vote was needed in April to continue with the plan.

To continue the KnowledgeWorks program, Mr. Brashear will have his work cut out for him, said John Martin, who will have two children at Rogers this fall and recently resigned from the district's construction project oversight committee because of the halt in the KnowledgeWorks reform project.

"The year ended at Rogers with extreme conflict in the faculty. That remains a concern of mine. With the strong division in views at Rogers and, I think, the feelings that developed over the small-schools battle, can leadership bring the faculty together and make it a productive work environment? I think that's the concern a lot of parents have right now: What kind of environment is going to exist there in the fall? Will it be a good learning environment?" he asked.

Contact Sandra Svoboda at:

svoboda@theblade.com

or 419-724-6171.



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