New principal announced for Lamarque Elementary

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NORTH PORT -- Lamarque Elementary School in North Port has a new principal.

Sarasota County Schools announced today that 33-year-old Brandon Johnson is scheduled to take over as principal on July 1, pending approval from the school board. He'll be succeeding Sally Mancheno, who is retiring from the district after serving as the Lamarque Elementary principal since before its opening in August 2006.

Johnson has been the assistant principal of Brentwood Elementary School since July 2012. His career with Sarasota County Schools began in 2005 at Emma E. Booker Elementary, where he was a teacher for children with special needs.

He received his master's degree locally, from the University of South Florida, in educational leadership. He received his bachelor's degree in elementary education from Norfolk State University.

If approved by the board, Johnson will be taking over a school in which staff and students have complained of becoming sick-- experiencing dizziness and smelling a strange odor. Earlier this year the Sarasota County School District requested a federal investigation into the health concerns and what could be causing them, to which the Centers for Disease Control declined. In a 10-page letter to the district, the CDC said it hadn't seen anything abnormal in recent tests.