Here's the leadership team at Mavericks High School in Palm Springs: Principal Thomas Lockett is not certified to teach in Florida and has a background in pharmaceutical sales. Assistant Principal Tisa Brandon came to Palm Springs from the Osceola County School District, where she was investigated for alleged "unethical behavior" involving a student.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Mavericks charter schools.
Brandon was dean of exceptional student education at a high school in
Kissimmee when the misconduct allegation surfaced last May. She was reassigned to the school district office while the allegation was investigated, according to WESH-2 News, the NBC affiliate in Orlando.
It's unclear precisely what Brandon was accused of doing or what the district's investigation found. The Pulp requested records from Osceola school officials ten days ago but has not received a response.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
However, it's clear Brandon sought a fresh start in South Florida. After Mavericks High opened in Palm Springs in August, Brandon was hired to be assistant principal. The charter school aims to help students who would otherwise drop out earn enough credits to graduate.
Since Principal Lockett does not have a background in education, Mavericks insiders say he relies on Brandon to run daily operations at the school. Lockett has not returned calls for comment, and a Mavericks secretary said Brandon is not at school today.
The Palm Springs school is the newest in a chain of charter schools run by the for-profit company Mavericks in Education Florida. Mavericks has eight schools in Florida, including two in Broward and two in Miami-Dade. Financial and academic troubles have plagued the company since it began opening schools three years ago.
Most Mavericks schools have graduation rates below 15 percent and earn grades of "incomplete" on state report cards. In November, academic concerns prompted the Palm Beach County School Board to postpone a vote to approve three more Mavericks schools. The board was again scheduled to discuss the new Mavericks charter applications this week, but that discussion has been removed from the board's agenda.