Longtime Hernando educator to become principal at Hernando High School

BROOKSVILLE — Longtime Hernando County educator Leechele Booker was tapped Wednesday to take over the newly vacated Hernando High School principal's job.

On Tuesday, Hernando principal Ken Pritz was appointed as the district's second assistant superintendent. On Wednesday, superintendent Bryan Blavatt contacted Booker, a four-year principal at Parrott Middle School, with the job offer

After talking with family and friends, Booker accepted.

Booker has been with the district for 17 years and has spent her entire career at Parrott. She's gone from teacher to assistant principal to principal. She said it will be tough leaving.

"They're like family," the 41-year-old Booker said. "They've watched me grow from being a teacher. That's why it was hard for me to make a decision."

She won't be far away.

Parrott feeds into Hernando High, and Booker said she will be excited to see some of her former students and watch them graduate.

In a news release, school district officials said they believe the move is a positive one for the continued growth of Hernando High.

Booker said she is excited for the opportunity, noting that she has big shoes to fill.

"I think it was time for me to continue to serve the community," she said.

At first, Booker thought the call from Blavatt on a dreary, rainy Wednesday was bad news.

"I was thinking, 'Oh, he's probably calling me about my (FCAT) scores,' " she said.

With the Hernando High job filled, Blavatt must now fill the Parrott position. It was not immediately clear when that hire will be made.

Danny Valentine can be reached at dvalentine@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1432.

Longtime Hernando educator to become principal at Hernando High School 07/18/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 6:48pm]

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