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Maddox, Ausley And Hanna Considering Run For Leon School Superintendent

Jackie Pons

Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox is considering applying for another job—this time, as Leon County School Superintendent.  He's not the only one eyeing the district's top education job, amid an ongoing federal probe. 

According to a 2012 Tallahassee Voices Survey done by the research firm Kerr-Downs, Superintendent Jackie Pons had the highest favorable rating out of all local officials. Around that time, Pons was also considering challenging former Congressman Steve Southerland. But Gwen Graham jumped into that race. And she won.

But last year, Pons was hit by allegations he steered school construction contracts to his political donors—and now the FBI is investigating the district’s construction activities, because some of the funding that went toward those projects, was federal.

Now, according to the Tallahassee Democrat, City Commissioner Scott Maddox, former State Representative Lorrane Ausley and former Leon High School Principal Rocky Hanna are considering running for Pons’ job.  Ausley and Maddox are also considering running for district legislative seats.

Hanna, now employed by the district, filed whistle-blower complaint against the school district for his role in distributing what’s now called, “the notebook” detailing questionable school construction practices. Hanna was also a very popular local principal—and when he was removed from Leon High to work at the district—many assumed the switch was political.  Pons has not decided whether to seek re-election.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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