Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Cynthia Moore to head Hernando County School Board next year

BROOKSVILLE — Since her election last fall, Hernando School Board member Cynthia Moore has been anything but shy about inserting her Mississippi drawl into debates with her fellow board members.

Now the 69-year-old retired teacher has the gavel, too.

The five-member board voted unanimously Tuesday to have Moore serve as chairwoman for the next school year, and for Matt Foreman to serve as vice chairman. That means the board's two newest members are now its leaders.

Foreman nominated Moore for the post. Outgoing Chairman James Yant then nominated veteran member John Sweeney. Yant noted, though, that he did so primarily because he believes there should be at least one other nominee.

Sweeney said he was honored but supported Moore.

"I think Cynthia would be a fantastic board chair," Sweeney said.

He then nominated Foreman for vice chairman.

The votes honor a generally held tradition for board members to take turns in the chairperson's seat. Sweeney and member Dianne Bonfield have also held the position.

"I hope I can do half the job that you did," Moore told Yant.

Short in stature — her face sometimes obscured by her laptop computer when she sits behind the dais — Moore has worked in the district for more than 40 years as a teacher, administrator and now a volunteer at Brooksville Elementary. She won the District 5 seat in a tight runoff against incumbent Sandra Nicholson.

Gov. Rick Scott in September appointed Foreman, an attorney at the Hogan Law Firm, to take the District 2 seat left vacant by the resignation of Pat Fagan.

Elected in 2008 to his first four-year term, Yant held the gavel during one of the most difficult rounds of budget-cutting in recent memory. The board was hamstrung during that process because it took Scott six months to choose Fagan's replacement.

The chairperson's vote doesn't carry any more weight than those of other members, but the position does come with added responsibility and influence.

The chairperson works with superintendent Bryan Blavatt to set workshop and meeting agendas, then moderates debate during both. The chairperson also acts as the board liaison during contract negotiations with the superintendent and general counsel. That became a big job for Bonfield in 2009 when she represented the board during talks to craft superintendent Wayne Alexander's exit deal.

Moore will lead negotiations in the coming months as the board works to hire a new attorney.

She has developed a reputation for preparing for workshops and meetings by combing through staff reports and other backup material. She lives in Brooksville not far from district headquarters and visits with Blavatt once a week. "She's easily accessible and has good communication skills," Blavatt said.

"I'm excited about it," Moore said after the meeting. "I think we'll all work together as a team this year."

That will be critical as the board considers the district's 2012-13 budget. "I think we're going to have a tighter budget than we have now," she said.

On some occasions during her tenure as chairwoman, Bonfield recalled Tuesday, she failed to voice her own opinion because she was so focused on making sure her fellow board members got the chance to speak.

Moore said she isn't worried about that.

"Y'all have found out I'll state my opinion," she said. "After everybody has had their say, I will have my say. I'm just that type of person."

Tony Marrero can be reached at (352) 848-1431 or Connect with him on Facebook by searching for "Hernando Education Beat - Tampa Bay Times."

Cynthia Moore to head Hernando County School Board next year 11/22/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 9:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida Bar revokes former state representative’s law license


    The Florida Bar revoked former state representative Larry Crow’s license in light of allegations that he misappropriated client funds and mishandled an estate case, according to court records.
    A petition filed in the Florida Bar case provides details of the disciplinary charges against Crow, who was elected …

    Larry Crow, a former Republican state representative from Palm Harbor
  2. Emergency crews responding to reports of explosions, deaths at Ariana Grande concert in England

    Public Safety

    Authorities in Manchester, England, say they are responding to an incident in which people were injured and killed during an Ariana Grande concert.

    Authorities in England are responding to a report of explosions and deaths during an Ariana Grande concert. She is shown here in a 2016 photo in Las Vegas. Reports are that the singer was not hurt. (Photo by John Salangsang/Invision/AP, File)
  3. Tampa man driving ATV killed in Gibsonton crash on U.S. 41

    Public Safety

    GIBSONTON — A 24-year-old man driving an all-terrain vehicle died Monday afternoon in a crash on U.S. 41, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  4. Questions about Russia chase Trump during first Israel visit


    JERUSALEM — President Donald Trump solemnly placed a note in the ancient stones of Jerusalem's Western Wall on Monday, sending a signal of solidarity to an ally he's pushing to work harder toward peace with the Palestinians. But his historic gesture- and his enthusiastic embrace of Israel's leader - were shadowed …

    President Donald Trump shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after making joint statements, Monday in Jerusalem. [AP photo]
  5. Data breach exposes 469 Social Security numbers, thousands of concealed weapons holders


    Social Security numbers for up to 469 people and information about thousands of concealed weapons holders were exposed in a data breach at Florida the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The breach, which the agency believes happened about two weeks ago, occurred in an online payments system, spokesperson …

    Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam on Monday that nearly 500 people may have had their Social Security numbers obtained in a data breach in his office.
[Times file photo]