On behalf of the Plato Academy Board of Directors, I would like to inform you about some positive developments occurring in our schools, of which you may or may not be aware:
1. Plato Board: Each member of the Plato Board is very interested in being fully informed about every aspect of the Plato operation and is regularly updated by the Senior Advisor. Additionally, each Board member is focusing on maintaining an active role in one of five key areas, listed here in alphabetical order: Academics (Dr. Norrine Russell), Facilities/Locations (Louis Kokkinakos), Finances (John Petalas), Parent Relations (Caitlin Clemens), and Personnel (Chris Alahouzos).
You are welcome to contact us with any questions or concerns:
Louis Kokkinakos – Chairman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chris Alahouzos – Vice Chairman (email@example.com)
Caitlin Clemens – Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org)
John Petalas – Treasurer (email@example.com)
Dr. Norrine Russell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
2. Relationship with Superior Schools: In April, 2019, Plato decided to end its situation of being managed by Superior Schools and became self-managing. Superior disputed the separation, and litigation arose. Understandably, parents were uneasy about all of that. Thankfully, the aspect of Plato that matters most, the quality of the schools, was not affected. All of the schools’ teachers, principals, assistant principals, and staff members remained in place, as well as much of the corporate staff. Recently, Plato and Superior have worked out many of their differences, and although as of this writing the legal disputes have not officially ended, both sides are working together toward a positive resolution. In addition, their relationship continues in terms of Superior being the landlord of four (soon to be five) of Plato’s campuses (Trinity, Tarpon Springs, Clearwater, Pinellas Park, and the new campus in St. Petersburg, which is scheduled for completion in late April), and Superior provides the child care and VPK personnel at the Plato schools. We have every reason to believe we will resolve any remaining issues and continue to work together in a smooth, friendly, and productive manner.
3. Proposed Bond: We have received a lot of questions about our proposed bond, so we would like to explain some of the basics. Think of the bond as a bank loan with a really good interest rate. The bond will allow us to purchase the four Pinellas County schools Superior owns, and Superior is in favor of this arrangement. A comparable situation would be: if you decide to live in a certain house for the next 20, 30, or 40 years, or more, it would make sense to take out a loan and buy the house, rather than keep renting it. If we continue in the current situation, we would wind up paying much more to Superior in rent over the years than we will pay them to buy the buildings.
We have great schools – rated very highly and getting better – and thousands of students on our waiting list. We will continue to be great and get even better!
And we are very grateful for your continued support!
Finally, this is a press release issued jointly by Plato and Superior:
PRESS RELEASE – January 6, 2020
Plato Academy Charter Schools and Superior Schools have a long history of working together successfully. After leading Plato’s first campus, in Clearwater, to an “A” rating, Steve Christopoulos founded Superior and provided steady management and support as he expanded Plato to nine schools, each dedicated to providing a first-rate education, striving to help each child become a well-rounded person, providing guidance toward acquiring skills in art, music, sports, Greek language and culture, and a sense of community with others.
His tragic and untimely death in June, 2018 presented challenges for both organizations internally and in their collaborative efforts, but at no time did the quality of the teaching and learning process diminish; in fact, it continued to grow even stronger. Both Plato and Superior are committed to continuing to provide top-tier education. It is our number one priority and is the catalyst that has allowed us to overcome adverse challenges and continue to work together successfully. The Plato Board of Directors ultimately governs all aspects of the Plato schools, and Superior operates the Early Learning and the Before and After School programs, is the landlord of four Plato campuses, and will be the landlord of a fifth campus, St. Petersburg, as construction of a new campus there is close to completion.
As we move forward in 2020, we are confident and enthusiastic about continuing to faithfully provide an outstanding education to the children of the communities we serve.
Chairman – Plato Academy Board of Directors