The school district announced 13 new principals for schools in the county. Edmund Capitano will take over the helm of Loggers’ Run Middle School after Francis Giblin’s retirement.
Capitano (sometimes called Ed) was most recently principal of Galaxy E3 Elementary School in East Boynton Beach. Galaxy has received press for being environmentally conscious and having a science and engineering focus. The school’s most recent school grades were near the bottom of the county, though their student population is heavily minority and economically disadvantaged.
Before Galaxy, Capitano was a popular science teacher at West Boca High, at least according to RateMyTeachers.com. His wife Rachel is principal at Del Prado Elementary. They are the proud parents of a baby girl, and own a very nice house just off the intracoastal in East Boca.
For those interested in learning and/or following him, see his Edmund Capitano Twitter page.
In other news affecting West Boca, we mentioned earlier this week on Facebook that Dianne Rivelli-Schreiber of Waters Edge Elementary (west end of Palmetto Park Road) is leaving to take over Calusa Elementary (Clint Moore just west of Military Trail). A replacement for Waters Edge has not yet been announced.
And Boca High’s Geoff McKee was recently promoted to a regional “instructional superintendent” position. He will be replaced by Vice Principal Suzanne “Susie” King. While Boca High is in East Boca, its zone extends to Powerline between Palmetto Park Road and the county line. Calusa Elementary’s Jamie Wyatt was also promoted. The Sun-Sentinel wrote about those promotions in April.
Former Loggers’ Run teacher Matthew Webster was sentenced yesterday to just short of one year in jail to be followed by five years of probation, and will be registered as a sex offender. The sentencing was reported by WPTV yesterday. We broke the initial story of a teacher arrested for sexting a teen back in January.
Court records show the victim read a statement in court on May 2nd and that her mother testified yesterday. West Boca News is keeping the victim’s identity private.
The mom had this to say about the experience:
Our family would like to thank the Sheriff’s Department, the State Attorney and the unbelievable, wonderful staff at both Loggers’ Run and West Boca High for their immediate and continued support throughout this ordeal. We are relieved that the people in charge did their jobs quickly and thoroughly and that justice was served today.
As a family we were shocked to learn who was behind the messages and pictures, the trust we had for him was immense and we were saddened to see a well respected teacher make wrong choices and abuse his role in our daughters life. We are glad this is now over and she can now have closure and move on from this unfortunate event. This is an action of one person and should have no reflection on Loggers Run Middle School, it is a phenomenal school with amazing teachers and staff.
She also mentioned “victim-blaming” in our conversation. We hope everyone close to this young woman will recognize that the blame in a situation like this falls fully on the adult who is supposed to be responsible, and not on a child.
The mother provided us with a copy of her testimony to the court. Excerpts are below (edited to protect victim’s identity):
The reality of where we are today staggers my mind. What were you thinking?? To violate the trust that my family had in you is so unbelievably sad and so wrong. …
As like [our daughter] we all trusted you and you violated that trust in a huge way. [Name] respected you and trusted you and now we are in a court room awaiting your punishment for pictures that you sent and content that no 14 year old girl should have had to read and requests she never should have received from anyone, particularly her teacher and her coach.
What happened was awful and you robbed [her] of some of her innocence and made her grow up faster than I would have liked. [She] is a tough girl and she will get past this, this incident will NOT define her.
What makes me so angry is that you were so liked, so trusted, so respected that she has been victimized twice – once by you and again by some of her peers and people in our community.
Even though her name was never released there was enough information given to the media that it didn’t take long before her former classmates and teammates figured out it was her. She knows she did nothing wrong I’m sorry I can’t say the same for you.
No matter what you are sentenced to today I can’t erase the images that she saw, the questions she had to answer and the judgment of others that didn’t and don’t believe her.
As her mother I feel like I failed her by not protecting her enough. I didn’t see this one coming. Teachers and coaches are held to a higher standard then most. This shouldn’t happen at all but especially in a place that we send our children to on a daily basis for 13 years. This isn’t a bar. This isn’t a pick up place. This is a school, a place we trust with our kids with people who are supposed to help them not hurt them.
[Our daughter] is young and has her whole life ahead of her to prosper and soar into adulthood with the support of all her family, this equals she will be an amazing successful addition to our society. This event will not define her.
You on the other hand Matthew Webster will look back at this as a choice that changed your life for the worse and that’s good enough for me.
All this being said I/we thank you for not physically harming her or worse. I truly hope you get the help you need and that you can make steps in repairing your life.
Chase Thompson, a 7th grader at Loggers Run Middle School, wrestled for a state championship where he pinned every opponent all the way through the finals to become the Cadet 195 pound state champion. The Cadet division was made up of 9th & 10th grade wrestlers.
Chase had suffered a knee injury during practice in January, with a fractured patella (kneecap) and strained ligaments. After extensive physical therapy and cryotherapy he was able to get read for the tournament on March 13th.
Chase Thompson was initially registered to wrestle in the USA Wrestling’s Florida Amateur Athletic Association (FAWA) State Championship in his respective division/weight class “Schoolboy” 190 lb. When there was no one entered in that weight class, he was asked to move up to the next division.
Chase was also awarded the Outstanding Wrestler for that division for the most pins and fastest pins. Congratulations to Chase for his hard work and success.
Eagles Landing Middle School scored the highest of middle schools in Boca on the latest school grades. All four Boca schools received “A” grades.
Eagles ranked 5th in the county out of 35 middle schools, with Loggers’ Run at 9th, Omni at 10th and Boca Middle at 17th.
The top spot in the county went to Bak Middle, an all-magnet arts school in West Palm Beach. Wellington Landings was in second place and Don Estridge, another all-magnet program, was 3rd. Schools are ranked based on “Total Points Earned” which is driven primarily by test scores.
Eagles Landing did particularly well in Social Studies, while Loggers’ and Omni both had stronger math scores. Omni’s score was driven down by a particularly low score in Middle School Acceleration, “a measure for participation in and performance on high school EOC assessments and Industry Certification programs by students in middle school.”
As we saw with the elementary school grades, we see that higher performing schools tend to have smaller numbers of economically disadvantaged students. Western Pines Middle in West Palm Beach overperformed in that sense, coming in 4th just behind Don Estridge.
Our full spreadsheet is below:
Teacher Matthew Webster was arrested for sending nude pictures of himself “to a 14-year-old student via smart phone. Charges are two counts of delivery of pornographic material harmful to a minor,” according to a media relations contact at the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office.
Earlier today several readers contacted us about an e-mail from Principal Fran Giblin of Loggers Run Middle School:
Today, a teacher at our school was arrested. While the allegations against the teacher are being investigated, the teacher will not be returning to campus and will have no contact with any students. At this time we do not have reason to believe that any of our students were affected.
While we do anticipate media coverage of the arrest, Loggers’ Run Middle School does not have any further details that we can provide.
Multiple sources told us that the arrest occurred shortly before 4 pm when school lets out. Readers told us they saw police at the school.
Webster teaches culinary and home economics at the school and also coaches girls basketball. He is 41 years old.
It is our understanding that the student he was sexting is female, a recent former student of his at the school, and currently attends an area high school. We do not know her name and would not release it if we did.
Loggers Run, on West Palmetto Park Road, is a highly rated middle school and students scores are among the highest in the county.
Update: From the blotter, Webster is still in custody and bond has not been set.
Booking Date/Time: 01/05/2016 18:09
Arresting Agency: 01-PBSO
Jacket Number: 0474133
Booking Number: 2016000526
CRUELTY TOWARD CHILD – TRANSMIT INFO HARMFUL TO MINORS
CRUELTY TOWARD CHILD – TRANSMIT INFO HARMFUL TO MINORS