Longtime head of teachers union in Hernando ousted
BROOKSVILLE — Signaling their desire for a new direction, Hernando County teachers this week voted out two-term Hernando Classroom Teachers Association president Joe Vitalo in favor of a longtime teacher with previous experience leading the union.
Jo Ann Hartge, a sixth-grade science teacher at West Hernando Middle School, received 58 percent of the votes — 444 of the 766 cast. Vitalo pulled in 322 votes, or roughly 42 percent.
Roughly 30 percent of the membership did not cast ballots.
“I had no idea how it was going to go,” Hartge said Friday. “I thought it was going to be close. I was surprised. I was nervous.”
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