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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Hernando schools chief misses out on R.I. job

BROOKSVILLE -- If Hernando schools chief Wayne Alexander leaves before the end of his contract in June of next year, it won't be for Westerly, R.I.

The School Board in that coastal New England town has offered its superintendent post to the other finalist for the job, board Chairman James Murano, Jr. announced Monday night. And Steven Welford, currently the superintendent in Burrillville, R.I., has accepted the job and signed a contract, Murano said.

The Westerly board last week reached a consensus in closed-door meetings to offer the job to Welford. School officials visited the district and interviewed employees there, Murano said. The board will formally vote on Murano's appointment at its meeting slated for Wednesday. It's expected to be a formality.

"I thought it was a thorough process and the best candidate emerged," Murano said. "I feel very comfortable with Mr. Welford."

Burrillville is about 20 miles from Providence. The school system has about 2,500 students.

Alexander is also one of five finalists for the superintendent's post in Brockton, Mass. Officials there have said the selection will be made by end of this month.

Alexander had said he planned to stay in Hernando and move his new family here. But he now maintains that a child visitation dispute between his wife and her ex-husband has forced him to change those plans and move back to New England. He has said he will stay until his successor is in place.

Two Hernando School Board members say Alexander has been less than up front about his job search. Pat Fagan and James Yant also say it's time to cut ties with Alexander now rather than have him finish his contract. They maintain that he shouldn't be making decisions that could affect the district in the long term, but a majority of the five-member board still supports him.

-- Tony Marrero, Times Staff Writer, and Emily Dupuis, Times Correspondent

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:25am]


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