Thursday, January 18, 2018
Education

Lots of administrators on the move in Hernando school district

BROOKSVILLE — There's a lot of change these days at top levels of the Hernando County School District, with several notable hires, transfers, resignations and pending retirements.

On the horizon: even more change. Superintendent Lori Romano, who took over in July, is working on a district-level restructuring plan.

"We're still playing around with that," Romano said, noting that it will take everyone into account, but won't require any new positions. "We want to tie all the work to the strategic plan, and we want to make sure that the positions and the funding are all in line to that — and that it's an efficient system."

But first, the personnel changes.

After four searches and a more than nine-month vacancy, the school district finally has hired a new chief financial officer. George D. Gall is expected to begin Sept. 30.

"Our existing staff has done an amazing job of keeping the ship afloat," Romano said. "We are very excited to have a CFO."

Gall, 63, most recently served as the chief financial officer at the Fort Norfolk Retirement Community in Norfolk, Va.

He was one of two candidates interviewed for the position.

While he has no prior experience as a chief financial officer for a school district, he has five years of experience in higher education, having served as the head of finances for Palm Beach Atlantic University.

He has 13 years of experience as a chief financial officer.

The appointment concludes a long struggle to fill the position after the sudden resignation of Desiree Henegar in January after the Times reported about a sex blog that she updated while at work.

The district also recently named Tim Urban as principal of Endeavor Academy, the district's alternative school.

Urban was removed as principal at Eastside Elementary School this summer after the school received an F grade from the state.

He then briefly did a stint in the district's department of professional development.

Sophia Watson, an external candidate with previous teaching experience in the district, recently was named as the district's supervisor of the adult community education and volunteer program. Watson, who began Sept. 11, is taking over for Denise Moen, who retired this summer.

There are a handful of other district-level positions that either are or soon will be vacant.

The director of technology and information services position has been vacant since Melissa Harts left to take a job at Pasco-Hernando Community College earlier this month. The district has appointed an interim director.

Barry Crowley, the district's director of safety and security, is retiring. His last day will be Oct. 31. Roland "Bo" Bavota, also has said he will retire soon, but hasn't set a date.

Eric William, the district's director of school improvement, is currently working in a grant-funded position that expires June 30. It's not clear what will happen after that.

"It's completely under construction," Romano said.

Contact Danny Valentine at [email protected] or (352) 848-1432. On Twitter @HernandoTimes.

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