Hollinger officially retires, Lyons takes her place

Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 9:54 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 9:54 p.m.

Alachua County School Board members said goodbye to one administrator and approved another at their regular meeting Tuesday.

Sandy Hollinger, a longtime teacher, principal and administrator in Alachua County, is retiring after serving a decade as deputy superintendent.

Board members recognized Hollinger at her last meeting, which board member Carol Oyenarte called “a very sad night for Alachua County Schools.”

Hollinger said she has enjoyed every day of her tenure.

“I have had fun every single day,” she said. “Sometimes it’s a little crazy, sometimes it’s a little quirky, but there hasn’t been day that I haven’t laughed, and there hasn’t been a day that I haven’t enjoyed.”

With the recommendation of Superintendent Dan Boyd, the board unanimously approved the appointment of current Assistant Superintendent Herschel Lyons as Hollinger’s replacement.

Lyons is a 33-year veteran of Alachua County Public Schools, having served as in a teacher and principal for years until he was appointed as assistant superintendent in 2010.

Tuesday night, Lyons said he was grateful to have the new opportunity.

“I’m just in awe,” he said.

The board also approved a tentative calendar for the 2013-2014 school year. In the proposal, students would get the entire week of Thanksgiving off.

The matter will be discussed again at a Jan. 15 public hearing.

Several teachers spoke out against the recently released teacher evaluations during citizen comments. Many said they were happy to hear the district’s plans to revise the evaluations.

Alicia Patterson, a kindergarten-first grade combo teacher at Irby Elementary, said receiving her evaluation was demoralizing and degrading.

“I feel very strongly that as a school and county, we have to stand up and be heard,” she said.

All board members expressed support for the teachers.

“All of us have been tremendously upset with what has happened,” said board chair Eileen Roy.

Board member Gunnar Paulson said he was disgusted with the evaluations.

“We’ve got to do something about this,” he said.

Contact Joey Flechas at 338-3166 or joey.flechas@gvillesun.com.

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