Fernandina high school principal abruptly resigns

The sudden resignation Monday of Fernandina Beach High School Principal Dr. Spencer Lodree appears to have surprised many in the community as well as the Nassau County School Board.

The school district’s chief of legal services, Ray Poole, said Lodree tendered his resignation Monday afternoon, effective immediately.

Nassau County Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathy Burns met with the school’s faculty on Monday to break the news.

Poole could not say with certainty who was acting principal at FBHS on Tuesday, but a staff member who answered the phone at the school said Assistant Principal Chris Webber was acting as principal. Messages left for Webber were not returned by press time Tuesday.

Lodree declined to give details about his reason for leaving his position, but wrote in an email to the News-Leader that “the decision to resign was a difficult one and a decision that needed to be made due to family and personal reasons,” Lodree said.

“I wish Dr. Burns and Fernandina Beach High School much continued success in the days months and years to come.”

Lodree called the Nassau County School District “a great institution.”

“I'd like to give my thanks to Dr. Burns and to Dr. Ruis for providing me with an awesome opportunity to learn and grow as an educational leader,” Lodree said.

Lodree said he would continue in his career in education in Florida.

“I do plan to continue in education,” he said. “My goal is to provide my leadership experience in an urban setting in a community that is closer to my home.”

Lodree lives in Orange Park.

On Tuesday morning, Poole said he had not yet discussed with Burns the process of replacing Lodree but speculated that the position would be posted “and we will go through that process.”

Lodree began his career in Florida as a fifth-grade teacher at Wayman Academy of Arts, a charter school in Duval County. He has taught mathematics to students in grades five through nine and was also an instructional mathematics coach.

Lodree had been with the Nassau County School District since 2009, serving as assistant principal of curriculum at FBHS until he was named principal there in December 2014.

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