Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando school superintendent withdraws request to resign early

BROOKSVILLE — It was supposed to be the meeting in which the Hernando County School Board would consider allowing its superintendent to leave the district a year early.

But a week after announcing his intention to resign this summer because of family troubles up North, Wayne Alexander brought the board a surprising message Tuesday: Never mind.

"As a result of many discussions with family members, friends and employees, I am withdrawing my request to leave at the end of this school year," he said, reading from a prepared statement.

"Last week's request of the board was an emotional response to family needs that have been building for six months," Alexander explained. "It was an attempt to meet the district's needs and my family's needs. I am learning, personally and professionally, as I go."

His previous announcement — that he'd leave the district in July because of a visitation dispute involving his new wife and her children in Connecticut — threw the board into turmoil. Members had been planning to launch a search for his replacement this week.

Nothing in his personal circumstances has changed. But Alexander said he concluded that he would rather be a commuting father next year than break his three-year contract.

"The reality is, we live in a world that has contracts, professional commitments," he added. "I need to honor (my contract) and commitment."

Board members said they'd been told of his latest decision individually before the meeting.

Even so, several members took the opportunity to clear the air.

"I want a verbal commitment from you, that you will commit to this organization," said Pat Fagan.

"I have no problem with you sticking with the organization, but we need buy-in," he added, expressing regret over the alienation of some teachers and staff due to the rapid pace of Alexander's staff reorganization last year. "Get them back on our side, so we can proceed on making great changes."

James Yant said many in the district have been left afraid and uncertain, both by the changes and Alexander's forceful management style.

"You can have a team where all the players are frightened of the coach, or you can have a team that loves playing for that coach," he said. "We need everybody to be a part of this team."

Other members said Alexander's efforts since his 2007 hiring, as well as his brash manner, were just what a change-resistant district needed.

"He ruffled some feathers," said Sandra Nicholson. "Did those feathers need to be ruffled? (In) my opinion, yes."

Alexander said he'd likely be looking for work in New England once his contract expires in June 2010, and board members said they'd begin an orderly search for his replacement next year.

If another job comes up in Connecticut before then, Alexander said, he won't take it.

"I'm committed to honoring my contract," he added.

With that, the board shifted gears to the mammoth task of cutting its $160 million operating budget down to size. State cutbacks may force the district to slash up to $30 million in spending in the coming year, Alexander said, and next week the board will begin to set its spending priorities.

Board members agreed they would also consider boosting the salary range for the vacant finance director position in order to attract qualified candidates.

For all of those tasks, Alexander said he'll be the man in charge.

"You want to finish some of the things you started," he said. "And get some closure."

Tom Marshall can be reached at tmarshall@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1431.

Hernando school superintendent withdraws request to resign early 02/10/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 8:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Is Bucs kicker Nick Folk a significant upgrade over Roberto Aguayo?

    Bucs

    Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter made it clear.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk is entering his 11th NFL season. He spent three seasons with the Cowboys and seven with the Jets. [LOREN ELLIOTT  |  Times]
  2. Florida education news: Student discipline, online learning, solar eclipse glasses and more

    Blogs

    STUDENT DISCIPLINE: Everyone wants their child to behave in school. But sometimes defining what that means causes dissention. That was the case this week at a Pasco County elementary school, which A Pasco County elementary school has adopted a new behavior model that encourages cooperation and responsibility. Some parents are upset that it also seems to support giving in to peer pressure.

  3. Pinellas wants to see impact of tourism bucks spent on big events

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– Pinellas County relies on more than just beaches to attract visitors. County government also spends millions to help sponsor big-name events to draw even more tourists.

    The Pinellas County Tourist Development Council awareded up to $250,000 to help sponsor the 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  4. Zephyrhills begins residential lien forgiveness program

    Local Government

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A new program is under way to forgive liens on certain residential properties in the city to combat blight, encourage improvements to properties and spur home ownership.

    City Manager Steve Spina said after the council’s unanimous vote, the new lien forgiveness program is up and running.
  5. With reluctance, New Port Richey continues funding for Main Street program

    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY — City officials on Tuesday night had their annual debate on whether to continue funding the New Port Richey Main Street program. The group remains financially strapped and claims it cannot survive without city funding.

    Said New Port Richey Mayor Rob Marlowe: “I think the Main Street program has gone seriously off the rails.”