Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando schools, new superintendent reach contract agreement

New Hernando County school superintendent Lori Romano, left, talks with J. Lisle Bozeman, manager of Planning and Grant Development with the district, in March in a meet-and-greet during the interview process.


New Hernando County school superintendent Lori Romano, left, talks with J. Lisle Bozeman, manager of Planning and Grant Development with the district, in March in a meet-and-greet during the interview process.

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School Board and its next superintendent, Lori Romano, reached a tentative contract agreement on Monday following weeks of negotiation.

"It's nice to get it done," said board chairman Matt Foreman, who was part of the district's negotiating team. "I'm looking forward to working with Dr. Romano and to continue to make sure our school district is well taken care of."

Romano, 41, said she is excited about her new job.

"I just can't wait to get started," she said. "I'm really looking forward to the opportunity."

Romano, currently the director of adult, community, secondary and virtual education programs in Martin County, will make $117,000 in the first year and $120,000 in the second year, said Foreman. The salary in the third year is subject to negotiations.

The district initially offered Romano a salary of $101,000 — an amount that fell near the bottom of the advertised salary range of $100,000 to $130,000. Romano and her lawyer countered with a request for $130,000.

Negotiations between the two sides reached a sticking point over the salary and contract language, forcing the board to hold a special meeting last week. At the meeting, a majority of board members said they would accept offering Romano more money.

Romano was also holding out for contract language that would have required a supermajority — four out of five board members — to vote to fire her.

That item will not be in the contract, Foreman said. It will take a majority — three of five — to end the contract.

He said that agreeing to the supermajority language would have set an undesirable precedent.

Romano's contract also includes a provision that, if terminated in the first two years, she will need to pay up to $25,000 for the district to conduct a new superintendent search.

"It's a good insurance policy for the district in the unlikely event something doesn't work out as planned," Foreman said.

The overall value of the contract is about $150,000, Foreman said.

Romano's contract calls for her to begin work on July 1. She will get started earlier than that.

Using built-up vacation days from her current job, she said, she will make herself available the last three weeks in June, holding meetings and learning about the district and the community. She also will need to move to Hernando.

She said she hasn't yet found a home.

Retiring superintendent Bryan Blavatt was pleased the two sides came to an agreement.

"It's great," he said. "I think that the more time you have in advance to work with the superintendent and to prepare, the more seamless the transition will be."

Although the board has reached a verbal agreement with Romano, the contract has not yet been signed. Romano will have to sign the contract, then it will need to be ratified by the School Board, which is expected to do so at its next meeting.

"I don't see any problem with the ratification," Romano said.

Overall, she said the process has been "professional and fair and businesslike."

Romano's husband, also an educator, is applying for positions in surrounding districts. Romano's contract includes a clause preventing him from working for the district.

Danny Valentine can be reached at or (352) 848-1432. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.

Hernando schools, new superintendent reach contract agreement 05/13/13 [Last modified: Monday, May 13, 2013 8:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over "inappropriate conduct"


    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels' overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  2. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater


    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  3. World's plastic waste could bury Manhattan 2 miles deep


    WASHINGTON — Industry has made more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic since 1950 and there's enough left over to bury Manhattan under more than 2 miles of trash, according to a new cradle-to-grave global study.

    Plastic trash is compacted into bales ready for further processing at the waste processing dump on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus.
  4. Sen. John McCain's type of cancer did not slow Tampa woman


    TAMPA — When 35-year-old Beth Caldwell heard about Sen. John McCain's brain tumor this week, she hoped he would stay positive.

    That's what helped her, she said.

    Throughout her battle with brain cancer, Beth Caldwell, 35, keeps her sons Gavin, 10, and Triston, 7, on her mind.
  5. A week later, the lengthy, costly rebuilding plan for the Pasco sinkhole begins

    Public Safety

    LAND O'LAKES — A week after a massive sinkhole opened in Pasco County, county officials have begun planning the long-term cleanup, which could take months and millions of dollars.

    A sinkhole in Land O'Lakes, Fla., is seen Wednesday, July 19, 2017. The sinkhole ?‘ already one of the largest in Pasco County in decades ?‘ measures about 235 feet in width and 50 feet in depth, with the potential to expand further.