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Plato Academy Schools, with nine charter schools in Tampa Bay, break from management company

Plato Academy Schools operate nine K-8 charter schools in Tampa Bay.

A group of Tampa Bay charter schools with break from its management, expressing dissatisfaction with new leadership.

Plato Academy Schools voted to end its relationship with Superior Schools.

“Unfortunately, based upon the performance of Superior since the passing of Superior’s founder, Steve Christopolous, in the summer of 2018, the Plato Board voted today to immediately terminate its relationship with Superior,” reads a message sent out Saturday evening to parents.

“Our Plato Academy schools stand strong, capable, and will continue to stay true to our mission of putting students first and ensuring we all reach our highest potential.”

The message came from Karen Staab, principal for Plato Academy Seminole.

Plato Academy Schools operate nine K-8 charter schools around Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties.

Superior Schools was established in 2005 to provide management oversight for the Plato Academy Schools, which currently serve about 7,000 students.

Christopolous died unexpectedly while vacationing in Costa Rica last June. A tribute on the organization’s page said when he took over leadership for Plato, the schools faced financial problems that almost closed the doors.

Jenny Tsantilas, CEO for Superior Schools, recently posted a message on the organizations website affirming optimism about the group’s future. She stressed a continuity in leadership.

“Nearly 15 years ago, I helped build and manage Plato Academy for the first five years alongside Steve Christopolous,” she wrote. “Steve’s vision and dreams for Plato Academy will continue to flourish and I feel like I am back home where our united vision began…

“Improving children’s lives and putting them first will always be of utmost importance and is my passion.”

The message also promised positive development in the future.

“We gave exciting improvements coming that will help us all grow as a ‘family team’ for the good of the students!” the message reads. “I can’t wait to see the results of our upcoming improvements and the effect it will have on the children to propel them into the future with confidence.”

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at

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