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Monday, May 21, 2018
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Steve Otto Columns

Otto: Any progress an improvement for Florida education

Gov. Rick Scott will be in Clearwater today to talk about education.
That's not much of a story. Education is always an issue and with the turmoil surrounding what passes for state leadership, the governor has been trying to become Florida's “education governor,'' a title former Gov. Jeb Bush claimed at the same time he was leading the system down the tubes.
To that end, he has summoned a gaggle of experts and leaders, including Board of Education Chairman Gary Chartrand, teachers, The Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida PTA and representatives from Florida Parents Against Common Core.
I'd love to think this thing is going to be an open forum where there are voices from all sides and even a few people willing to listen to different ideas.
I suppose when your expectations are so low that anything coming out of this, including a plan to continue the discussions with enough independent thought and maybe a promise to give the group some teeth, would be enough.
New definitions
OK, since we're talking education today, here is something from longtime reader “TeacherJoe,'' who is now retired from the Hillsborough school system but still wants to ensure you are kept up to date. I don't know where TJ came up with these definitions, but I like them: * Adult: A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the middle.
* Chickens: The only animals you eat before they are born and after they are dead.
* Secret: Something you tell one person at a time.
* Tomorrow: One of today's greatest labor-saving devices.
* Toothache: The pain that drives you to extraction.
* Wrinkles: Something other people have. Similar to my character lines.
* Committee: A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.
Barbershop memories
Still hearing from you about those barbershops you used to go to before they began to disappear.
Gene Perez writes: “I now go to a 'salon' because my barber for the last 45 years retired three months ago. Manuel Piloto was my childhood friend growing up in Palmetto Beach and I was his first 'Guinea pig' at his barber college in downtown Tampa. His shop had woodworking and motorcycle magazines, too. I miss Manuel.''
Carrington recalled
Finally, I need to remember Herbert Carrington Jr., who passed way last week.
You are likely more familiar with his dad, Herbert Carrington Sr., who died seven years ago at the age of 107.
Carrington Sr. was an orphan who was raised on a Georgia farm and made his way to Tampa where he helped build the first Gandy Bridge. For more than 60 years he was the maitre d' at the Tampa Yacht Club.
But I think his greatest contribution was raising a family that includes several generations of doctors, lawyers and good, caring people.
One of those was Herbert Jr. , who attended St. Peter Claver Catholic on Nebraska Avenue. Last year I had the opportunity to sit with his wife, Luella, at a fundraiser for the school.
Carrington was named National Teacher of the Year in 2001. There is an academic scholarship fund in his name at Florida A&M. His list of honors and accolades within our community is a lengthy one, but so many of them have connections to helping the youth of Tampa. Somewhere Herbert Carrington Sr. must be smiling down at one more Carrington legacy.
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