Sarasota County Schools’ newly-appointed superintendent, Dr. Brennan Asplen, visited Pine View on the morning of Sept. 4. After introducing himself over the morning announcements, he and Principal Dr. Stephen Covert toured the campus along with a team of Sarasota County Public Relations team members for an internal introduction video.
They visited third-grade teacher Vicky Singleton, where Asplen introduced himself to the students, asking questions about their experience going back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic. Asplen and Covert then participated in a get-to-know-you activity with the students, and proceeded to chemistry teacher Jay Skipper’s class, where the superintendent introduced himself and talked with students.
Asplen was appointed in a unanimous 5-0 vote by the Sarasota County School Board, and was described as kind and a good listener by board member Jane Goodwin in an interview with the Herald Tribune. He previously served as the deputy superintendent for St. Johns County Schools and notes the similarity in size of schools and students between his former district and Sarasota County Schools.
Asplen said the situation with Covid-19 is highly unusual, and that in his 32 years of experience, there has never been a back-to-school kickoff quite like the one students experienced this week.
Covert was pleased Asplen had the chance to meet with Pine View students and tour the campus.
“Dr. Asplen asked insightful questions about how remote and concurrent learning was going, and obviously valued the feedback he was given,” Covert said in an email response. “He seems committed to our mission at Pine View, and even has taught gifted students in his background, which was wonderful to learn! I was incredibly impressed with his ability to instantly relate to second and third-graders, as well as students in Dr. Skipper’s Organic Chemistry and Mr. Siegel’s AP Physics C class. We are looking forward to his next visit to Pine View!”