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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Ousted Pasco school principal seeks Hernando School Board seat

Times file photo / 2012



A former Pasco County educator who had his Florida teaching certificate permanently revoked in 2014 has announced his bid for Hernando County School Board.

Steve Van Gorden, who resigned his position as Zephyrhills High School principal in 2012 amid multiple accusations of sexual harassment, touted his experience in school administration in a press release unveiling his candidacy.

"I have a record as a team leader in accomplishing great things for our public schools," Van Gorden said in the release.

Van Gorden's tenure as a school leader ended in disgrace, with a state hearing officer finding him guilty of "personal conduct which seriously reduces his effectiveness as an employee of the school board." See the full hearing docket here.

His political career, during which he served as a city official in both Dade City and Zephyrhills, ended in his resignation from the Zephryhills mayor post amid a move to impeach him.

News of Van Gorden's candidacy to replace retiring board member Matthew Foreman quickly made the rounds among political circles, with many expressing amazement that he would try to return to the public forum. "Amazing he doesn't know how Google works," Hernando County Commissioner Diane Rowden said, noting how quickly she found stories of his past.

Three other candidates are seeking the District 2 seat -- Linda Prescott, Willis Reese and Rose Rocco.

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 7:01am]


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