Longform

We Have a Problem

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In response to questions about employees leaving Apollo, she implied the school has not experienced anything out of the ordinary: "In any school, whether it's due to a spouse relocating, a promotion or simply moving to another city in Broward County, the administration will experience teachers leaving and new teachers arriving.... I have worked with any staff member who felt a transfer would benefit their career and I will continue to help any of my staff take steps to better their careers."

Because Zekofsky is an interim principal (teachers joke that the system gives principals three years to hang themselves), the nine teachers interviewed for this story speculate that this might be her last year at Apollo. Many of them believe that the old guard would return if Zekofsky left; others declare they would consider the South Area Office inexcusably negligent if Apollo continues to decline.

But even if the district ousts Zekofsky, the school's recovery won't be easy. Facing the morass of hurt feelings, shattered pride, ruined reputations, and squabbling factions that has become Apollo Middle School, any new leader will face a daunting task. One former Apollo teacher sighs, "It's going to take a veteran principal to reconstruct that school."

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Emily Bliss