List stays the same
BROOKSVILLE – The clock was ticking this morning, past the 8:30 mark scheduled for the start of interviews to succeed the retiring Superintendent Wendy Tellone. But before the first of five candidates took the hot seat, Hernando County School Board member Jim Malcolm had a suggestion: how about adding a sixth?
He said the spot opened up by the last-minute withdrawal of candidate Craig Bangtson – the guy who made false statements on his resume about how long he'd worked as a superintendent – should be filled by local candidate Ken Pritz. "It's good for the district," Malcolm said." It tells people that if you work hard and with integrity within our system, people notice that."
Pritz, the district's executive director of facilities and support operations, was one of five Hernando candidates who didn't make the board's list of finalists. Others included Barbara Kidder, director of labor relations and professional standards; Sonya Jackson, executive director of school services; Elaine Sullivan, a former principal at Hernando High; and Martin J.A. Ratcliffe, a teacher and former principal.
Malcolm said at least one of those local candidates deserved "the courtesy of an interview." But there were no takers. "I don't consider it actually to be an open slot, the field (was) just narrowed," said board member Dianne Bonfield.
Chairman Pat Fagan said he'd gotten calls and letters requesting consideration of Pritz or other local candidates, and was interested in talking about the idea again at day's end. But he said adding a sixth candidate Thursday morning, minutes before the start of interviews was inappropriate, he said.
"I wouldn't consider doing one (local candidate) unless we do them all," agreed board member Sandra Nicholson. "I really don't see the need."
- Tom Marshall, Hernando County education reporter