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Hernando County School District extends search for assistant superintendent

BROOKSVILLE — As the Hernando County School District seeks more candidates for the assistant superintendent position, it has lost one of the most promising in-house prospects.

The job was posted again on Monday to allow some candidates to complete their applications and offer others the chance to apply, superintendent Wayne Alexander said.

On Thursday, veteran district staffer Ken Pritz withdrew his name.

Pritz, the principal at Hernando High School and one of four in-house candidates, said "family reasons" prompted to him to bow out. He declined to elaborate.

But Pritz, who has served as executive director for school services and executive director of facilities and operations, acknowledged that Alexander's decision to seek more applicants surprised him.

"I think that sent a message to me," Pritz said.

Sonya Jackson, director of school services, admitted she was "a little bothered" by the decision to post the job again.

"That didn't deter me from staying," Jackson said. "I am standing on the fact that I can do the job."

The other in-house applicants are Barbara Kidder, director of professional development, and Jeff Yungmann, supervisor of curriculum.

Kidder, Pritz, Jackson and Yungmann were among the 14 candidates reviewed by a eight-member committee appointed by Alexander to send him a batch of finalists.

The committee comprises three principals, two parents, a school volunteer and the heads of the unions representing teachers and noninstructional employees.

Joe Vitalo, president of the Hernando Classroom Teachers Association, said the committee found some of the in-house candidates to be promising, but most of the hopefuls lacked the level of experience required.

"We saw some great individuals but not at assistant superintendent level," Vitalo said.

The committee recommended that the position be reposted to try to increase the number of finalists to be sent to Alexander. The application deadline is midnight Monday.

This could allow applicants who hadn't turned in all the required information to do so, Alexander said. "We have many people who have shown some interest and would like to give them the opportunity to complete the application," he said.

Nine more applications had come in by Friday afternoon, said Sherrie Kudla, an executive secretary in the business services department. Three are resubmissions from the original batch, six are new applications, and three of those don't appear to meet the minimum qualifications, Kudla said.

While Pritz has said he knows he could do the job, he said Thursday that the assistant job might not give him the chance for career growth he seeks.

The district's contract with Alexander, who is seeking a superintendent's post in New England, runs out in 2010. When Pritz was asked if he would apply for the superintendent position later this year, he said, "Probably so."

Tony Marrero can be reached at or (352) 848-1431.

Hernando County School District extends search for assistant superintendent 06/05/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 5, 2009 7:28pm]
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