McCalister Says Bolinger Is Out at Bay High

It appears Bay County School Superintendent James McCalister will not be changing his mind about removing Larry Bolinger as principal of Bay High School.

Two of the school’s business partners, William Harrison and Randall McElheney, contacted NewsChannel Seven and say they spoke with McCalister Friday after and he says he won’t renew Bolinger’s contract at Bay High.

But McCalister won’t say why, at least publicly.

This has prompted McElheney to buy time on local radio stations for a commercial calling for public support for the principal. The commercials ask people to attend a meeting of the Bay County School Board Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.

On top of the radio commercials political sized signs have been placed over the Panama City and Lynn Haven areas saying “Bay Needs Bolinger.”

And more than 40 Bay High students were walking door to door passing out petitions, fliers and posters all urging the public’s involvement at keeping Bolinger at the school.

Bolinger, a former school superintendent, was defeated six years ago. He was named Bay High principal last year and assigned the task of improving the performance of the school, which had earned a “D” grade from the state two years in a row.

One School Board member says it’s expected the school will be raised up to a “B” this year.

McCalister is not required by law to give a reason for his decision. Right now he planning to make Bolinger a principal at another school, but no one knows where, except to say it won’t be Bay High.

Although there appears to be a lot of support for Bolinger, several callers to NewsChannel Seven identified themselves as Bay High Teachers. They say they are supporting McCalister’s decision. They said they didn’t want to identify themselves because they fear retaliation.


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