Wiregrass principal puts planned retirement on hold
LAND O’ LAKES - Ray Bonti, the Wiregrass Ranch High principal who planned to retire at the end of the school year, won’t be leaving the Pasco school district after all. Bonti will be named the district’s executive director for support services, the district announced. In that role, he will oversee such departments as planning; food, nutrition and distribution services; transportation; maintenance and facilities services; construction services and code compliance; purchasing; and athletics.That’s a wide-ranging list of departments, but Bonti said he has dealt with all of them in his years as a principal. He is slated to assume his new position May 6. Bonti, the principal at Wiregrass Ranch since it opened in the 2006-07 academic year, previously announced plans to retire from the school district to do consulting work. Those plans shifted last week, though, when the executive director for support services position came available. Bonti accepted the position and rescinded his retirement paperwork. “It allows me to continue in Pasco in a new leadership capacity,” he said. Bonti has worked for the school district for 25 years — including stints as principal at Gulf Middle and Land O’ Lakes High — and the previous decision to leave after all those years was a difficult one, he said. He’s looking forward to his new job, though he said he will miss the time he spends with students and staff at Wiregrass Ranch. “The downside certainly is leaving Wiregrass,” Bonti said. “You couldn’t be principal of a better school.”
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