Issue 1: Bush is (temporarily) back

Past Principal Johnny Bush returns to Robinson while administration is quarantined.


Photo Scott Purks, Tampa Bay Times

Johnny Bush is repping his Plant High School shirt.

Ella Wertz, News and Features Editor

Johnny Bush worked at Robinson for eight years as principal. He was hired in 2009 as an assistant principal, and became the official principal when Laura Zavatkay stepped down in 2012. Bush became Plant High School’s principal in 2017. Due to many administrators having to quarantine for two weeks, Bush had the opportunity to temporarily return to Robinson.

“When any school is short administrators other schools send administrators to cover, ” Bush said. “I was…just an administrator helping out, it was truly an honor. Robinson is a great school.”

Even though Bush has spent three years heading Robinson’s rival school, he rejects this traditional view of the schools as rivals and cherishes his experiences at both.

“I do not consider it a rival. I did not attend either high school as a student.  We moved into Plant’s zone 23 years ago so our kids, when we had them, could one day attend Plant.  Never thought I’d be principal of both.  I’ll let the students lead the rivalry charge,” Bush said.

Robinson has significantly changed in the past couple of years through the addition of the Foreign Language building, water bottle refiling stations, and repaving of the parking lot. Bush’s temporary position allowed him to catch up on some of Robinson’s newest features.

“The main office and conference room both look amazing,” Bush said. “A new building, wow!”

However, even though there have been many beautification changes at Robinson, the foundation that Bush set up as principal remains almost completely intact, making Robinson a piece of home for him.

“[My favorite part about coming back to RHS was] knowing it will always be my first principal appointment. I hired so many of the current staff and they are all my friends in education, it is always good to come the campus to see them,” Bush said.

Bush’s time back at Robinson has allowed him to reminisce on his time here, both as principal and assistant principal. Bush continues to appreciate students’ creativity and effort to start projects that would benefit Robinson as a whole.

“One of my favorite memories of Robinson was when students came to me with ideas that would enhance the school as a whole.  I loved when students had ideas for new clubs or events like Break the Silence and clubs like Girls who Code,” Busch said. “[The school’s] theme was Robinson Rising, great memories of all the things done to lift the school.”

Even though Bush is employed at Plant, he will always be a large part of Robinson. His influence and the precedents he has set as principal helped create the Robinson that students attend today. Despite the changes to the school and Bush’s three year gap, he recounted that the ambience and aura provided by students remains the same.

“Robinson students are still friendly and display a great deal of pride in their institution,” Bush said.