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Bullock outvoted on Orange Park arts academy (subscriber content)

Former Bradford High School band director Tony Buzzella consults with Clay County school board member Tina Bullock, during a Clay County School Board meeting.

Former Bradford High School band director Tony Buzzella consults with Clay County school board member Tina Bullock, during a Clay County School Board meeting.

DAN HILDEBRAN

Monitor Editor

Keystone Heights resident Tina Bullock cast the sole supporting vote on the Clay County School Board Thursday night for a proposed Orange Park charter school.

Supporters of the  Orange Park Academy of the Arts told board members the school would help underachaieving students who now attend Grove Park, Montclair and Argyle elementary schools.

Bullock agreed.

“I believe our job is to open doors for students,” she told her colleguges.

“Sometimes we have to take a risk,” she added.

Board members Carol Studdard and Janice Kerekes both cited a district committee report that criticized the academy’s application and said it fell short of state standards for charter schools.

Former Bradford High School band driector Tony Buzzella spoke in favor of the academy.

“I was brought on for the purpose of developing the ciriculum,” he said.

Buzzella, who is now principal of Columbia County’s first charter school, Shining Star Academy of the Arts,  said he is also a former school board member.

“Two years ago,” he told the Clay board, “I took the plunge and opened up a charter school.”

“When I was asked to assist with the development of the ciriculum portion of the application for this school,” he added, “I understood what they wanted.  They wanted to address a target population that needed help.”

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