USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)

First Advisor

Raymond 0. Arsenault, Ph.D. John Hope Franklin Professor of History Director, University Honors Program Co-Director, Florida Studies Program

Second Advisor

H. William Heller, Ed.D. Professor, Special Education College of Education

Third Advisor

Paul Summa Principal, Dunedin High School


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available


Publication Date


Date Issued



I was a twenty year old black male without a job. My previous job working at a children's science museum didn't exactly work out. Neither did my stint as a waiter/entertainer. I was satisfied being a full-time college student; unfortunately, my mother had other plans. She is one of a dying breed: the kind of mother who will not only nag you to death to get you to do something, but will also impose upon you her plans for you until they become your own. One of those genius plans was to put her 20 year-old son with high school students. She found a job at Pinellas Technical Education Center South Secondary (PTEC SS), a reassignment high school within the Pinellas County School System (PCSS) for kids as an alternative to expulsion. She just happened to know the principal Paul Summa, a family friend for some years now. I started the job in September of2003. The job opening was a clerical position, mostly assisting the front office and setting up students with bus routes through the PCSS's transportation system. I did that for one semester, and then switched roles with . . the Physical Education (P.E.) Teacher's Assistant. I eagerly took the P.E. Assist~nt position. It primarily consisted of playing flag football for the entire day; who could complain? The job was great, but when I left the shelter of the front office and saw how the P.E. program was supported, I was shocked. The P.E. coach, Mr. Cardwell, had no 2 classroom, no gymnasium or suitable substitute. The field, if you could call it that, was a blacktop parking lot behind the school. The school has no P.E. lockers, no showers, no bathroom area, and a serious lack of proper equipment. The school's one and only football was flat and duct-taped with no grip. Players were forced to use this so-called football for the entire year. Coach Cardwell is one of the twelve staff members who have to deal with inadequate facilities, funding, and respect from the Pinellas County School System. I soon came to learn that this wasn't a regular high school. Welcome to PTEC ss.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment ofthe requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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