Majority of Hernando board supports Alexander
Hernando Superintendent of Schools Wayne Alexander kept his job on a three to two vote by the school board. (Will Vragovic - Times)
BROOKSVILLE -- Two members of the Hernando County School Board this afternoon called on superintendent Wayne Alexander to resign or be fired.
Both James Yant and Charles "Pat" Fagan said they believe Alexander violated his contract, by failing to notify the board he's in the running for a Massachusetts superintendent job that starts this summer.
"It’s the time to make change and go forward with a new superintendent, so we can proceed as a district," Fagan said.
But it's a five-person board, and the majority said they don't believe Alexander has any intention of leaving before his contract expires in June 2010, just because the Brockton (Mass.) Public Schools have selected him as a finalist for a position that starts in August 2009.
"Their starting time, he's going to have to negotiate that with Brockton," said board chairwoman Dianne Bonfield.
She said she trusted Alexander's promise to fulfill the terms of his contract in Hernando.
"I feel now that’s he’s going to be here until June 30, 2010 or until mutual agreement," Bonfield added.
Earlier, Alexander gave an emotional defense of his less than two-year tenure in Hernando, saying he remained committed to the district despite the family problems that have compelled him to begin seeking work in New England.
"I do not feel I have violated my contract," Alexander said. "If you feel I have, dismiss me, (but) I have no plans of quitting or resigning."
"You were informed of my search for jobs in New England," he added. "If you feel I have mis-communicated in some way, then we need to revisit this topic. I have every intention of completing my contractual agreement. I will not leave my position until you find my replacement."
That was just the opening act in what promises to be a long day for the board. Fagan said he plans to reverse his March vote in support of a staffing plan that led to around 200 staff nonreappointments earlier this month.
Members of the Hernando Classroom Teachers' Association union have also called for Alexander's firing, saying he failed to take into account the federal stimulus or a brightening state funding picture. They're planning to hold a rally at 6 p.m. tonight in front of the board offices, wearing black to protest what they call his favoritism in selecting teachers and administrators for termination.
For updates and further details, visit the Gradebook at tampabay.com or read tomorrow's St. Petersburg Times.
Tom Marshall, Times Staff Writer