Hillsborough (Fla.) starts early, sinks resources into turnaround schools

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Angela Vickers has one of the toughest jobs in the Hillsborough County school district. She's principal of a middle school, arguably the hardest age to teach. And by state standards, hers is the lowest-performing among more than 200 schools.

But Vickers, 49, embraced the challenge when it was offered last year and, essentially, gives herself a pep talk when she walks through the door of Sligh Middle Magnet School. "You have to stay lifted," she said. "You have to stay that way for the people you lead. You have to have a desire to want to make sure that whatever you do, it will be better than yesterday."

Sligh and Potter Elementary are two schools the state has targeted for turnarounds in Hillsborough. Potter made the list by earning D grades for three years. Sligh is the district's only F school.

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