• Former principal accused of stealing school money hired at Orange Park private school

    By: Deanna Bettineschi , Action News Jax


    Spencer Lodree, the former principal at Fernandina Beach High School, has a new job at the Orange Park Performing Arts Academy.

    Lodree admitted to stealing $1,300 in ticket sales from a basketball game earlier in the year.

    According to a police report obtained by Action News Jax, he told police he was experiencing financial hardship.

    We also learned, Lodree got a job as the assistant principal at Northwestern Middle School in Jacksonville, but he was released from that position because the school district says he didn’t tell them why he left his previous job.

    Action News Jax spoke on the phone with the founder of the Orange Park Performing Arts Academy about Lodree’s new position.

    The founder said that Lodree has “impeccable credentials” and that “everyone deserves a second chance.”

    We asked parents what they thought of this new hire. 

    “How can you guide kids and students under your leadership and do things like that,” said parent Danielle Cooper.

    Another neighbor said off camera they do think people can change.

    This isn’t the first time the school is making headlines.

    Action News Jax reported last August that OPPAA was operating as a charter school, but after receiving two consecutive F grades, the school was forced to close.

    It reopened a short time later as a private school.

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