Resigned Zephyrhills High principal takes leave from Chamber of Commerce
Steve Van Gorden, who resigned his post as Zephyrhills High School principal amid accusations of sexual harassment, has taken a 60-day leave from his post as president of the city's Chamber of Commerce, executive director Vonnie Mikkelsen announced Monday in an e-mail to leaders.
Van Gorden also changed his chamber membership to "individual." He had been representing the school.
From the e-mail:
"I have received from Steve a request for a 60-day leave of absence from chamber responsibilities to focus on family and personal issues. Steve's decision was made in consultation with the executive board, following an ad hoc advisory meeting at which related concerns and options were presented and thoroughly discussed.
"For clarification purposes: This is NOT a resignation from the position of President, nor a relinquishing of voting rights on the board of directors; Steve will attend meetings and functions as he chooses; John Scott will represent the chamber at public and membership functions until further notice; Steve has submitted an application as an "individual" paying member to replace the member affiliation with the high school.
"I have stated publicly, and reiterate to you that we have a board of superior community and business leaders and I have the utmost confidence in their ability to assess any situation and determine the appropriate direction that is in the best interest of the chamber of commerce. Steve has been a consistent and reliable leader at the Chamber of Commerce and has not skipped a beat when it comes to serving the community in this particular leadership role. I respect Steve's decision and his service to the community."