BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School District gained an assistant superintendent and lost a high school principal on Tuesday.
Sonya Jackson, who had been serving as the district's executive director of school services and accountability and who was slated to take over today as principal at Nature Coast Technical High School, was tapped to fill the newly created assistant superintendent post.
A seven-member committee of parents, teachers, district staffers and community members recommended Jackson out of seven finalists, superintendent Wayne Alexander said.
"The committee decided unanimously that by far she was the strongest candidate to meet our needs," said Alexander, who took the advice and made the hire.
Among the finalists were two other in-house candidates who held district-level positions when they applied and officially start new assignments today: former curriculum supervisor Jeff Yungmann, who is now assistant principal at Nature Coast, and former professional development supervisor Barbara Kidder, who is now assistant principal at Explorer K-8 in Spring Hill.
Jackson, in her 20th year in the education field, came to the district in 2004, serving for a year as coordinator for staff development. She brought school-level administration experience from Putnam County.
The 45-year-old Jackson has a master's degree in educational leadership and is working toward a doctoral degree in administrative leadership from Walden University in Minneapolis.
Jackson said holding a superintendent position is a goal she set during her teaching days in the early 1990s.
"I'm very excited about the superintendent giving me this opportunity to support this district," she said.
It has been several years since the district has had an assistant superintendent. When the School Board decided this year to resurrect the position, Jackson said she would be a natural fit because the school services director position is being eliminated and most of those duties will be taken over by the assistant superintendent.
The salary set for the assistant superintendent job is $96,832, an increase from Jackson's current salary of $90,167.
In March, Alexander tapped Jackson to take the principal post this year at Nature Coast. On Tuesday he said that position will be advertised, likely attracting applicants from within the district.
Board member James Yant was one of two board members who had expressed concern about Alexander hiring an assistant even though he may be leaving the district before the end of his contract next June.
But Yant said Tuesday that the committee process eased some of his fears.
"It makes for a fairer way to do that," Yant said.
As for Jackson, he said, "I don't think they could have chosen anyone better than that."
Tony Marrero can be reached at email@example.com or (352) 848-1431.