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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Fast-rising, untested administrator takes Hernando school superintendent job

BROOKSVILLE — Lori Romano’s path to becoming superintendent of Hernando County schools began with a plunge.

Only 21 years old and fresh out of college, Romano landed her first teaching job in Montgomery, Ala., instructing four grade levels of students with learning disabilities.

Many of her students lived in poverty. Some had relatives who were addicted to drugs. Others had parents who were forced to turn to prostitution. There was abuse and homelessness.

Where some wound have found a daunting mess, Romano saw an exciting opportunity.

“It was the best year ever,” Romano said. “It taught me that education wasn’t just about teaching kids how to read or do math — it was about the whole child.”

It also reinforced something else: She wasn’t afraid of a challenge.

Over a career spanning two decades, Romano, 41, has risen rapidly through the education ranks, tackling administrative roles at the state and school district level, spearheading initiatives across Florida and earning a reputation as honest and collaborative leader.

Now she’ll face her biggest challenge yet: Leading the Hernando County School District.

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[Last modified: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 4:59pm]

    

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