In June, the Hillsborough County School Board selected 34 schools and programs for principal reassignments, which includes four schools in the SouthShore area: Ippolito Elementary School, Giunta Middle School, Rodgers Middle Magnet School and Riverview High School.

Though they officially took the reins on July 1, some of the new principals actually started early, so they’re already getting used to their new positions.

At Ippolito, Ashlee McManamey, previously working at Woodbridge Elementary School, has taken the reins of principal from Nicole Bennett, who herself is heading to James Elementary School as its new principal.

At Rodgers, Greg Basham, formerly a supervisor in leadership development, has been reassigned as its principal in place of David New.

At Giunta, Tiatasha Brown, who was the principal of Middleton High School, has become the principal in place of Cindy Land.

At Riverview, Ivin Gunder, most recently the principal at Lakeside Junior High School, has taken over Danielle Shotwell’s position as its principal, and Shotwell has moved to the district level as the general manager of employee relations.

Ashlee McManamey started in Hillsborough County Public Schools seven years ago as an assistant principal at Tampa Heights Elementary, staying for three years, then she took a year off to care for her second child and work on earning her doctorate in curriculum and instruction.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting the students and increasing student achievement—in all, in reading, math and science,” said McManamey.

Her closest tie to the area before now was that she would go to Balm Riverview with a team as a competitive clogger.

“I look forward to becoming a part of the community,” she added.

Nicole Bennett has been in Hillsborough County for 16 years and started her teaching career at Edison Elementary School, where she stayed for four years, and next she went to Foster Elementary School as an assistant principal for another four years. In 2012, she took over as principal as Foster, then she began as the principal of Ippolito in March 2014.

Now, Bennett is taking on the job as principal at James Elementary, and she will greatly miss the community of Ippolito, but she believes the school is in good hands and will continue to grow.

“Thank you for always being there and being supportive, and seeing that we maintained and stayed the best that we could be,” she said to the community.

“For me, Ippolito is family. I enjoyed the teachers, the students and the community,” said Bennett.

“When I first got to Ippolito, we had a lot of work to do, and I had individuals around me that made that work easy. It’s a great school. It sits kind of off to the side, nobody knows it’s back there off of Falkenburg, but the kids are just wonderful, so I really enjoyed my time there,” she added.

Ippolito Elementary School is located at 6874 S. Falkenburg Rd. in Riverview. For more information, call 672-5180 or visit for more information.

Rodgers Middle Magnet School is located at 11910 Tucker Rd. in Riverview. For more information, call 671-5288 or visit

Giunta Middle School is located at 4202 S. Falkenburg Rd. in Riverview. For more information, call 740-4888 or visit

Riverview High School is located at 11311 Boyette Rd. in Riverview. For more information, call 671-5011 or visit

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Taylor Wells
Taylor Wells is a relatively recently hired news reporter for the Osprey Observer, having been with the paper only since October 8, 2018. Aside from writing articles, he helps edit and upload them to the Osprey Observer site, and is always available to help other staff members in his spare time. He graduated from Saint Leo University with a bachelor’s degree in professional writing and lives in Valrico.