Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Hernando superintendent wants to fortify leadership

BROOKSVILLE — Last month, the state released an annual report that ranked Hernando as the leanest school district in Florida when it comes to administrative spending.

That can be a point of pride, an indicator that the district is putting dollars where it counts: the classroom. But by superintendent Bryan Blavatt's estimate, the district's leanness has become a liability.

On Tuesday, two months to the day of his arrival in the district's top spot, Blavatt will go to the School Board with a reorganization plan that would add a second assistant superintendent, among other positions.

"It's obvious we have cut at the central office in so many areas," Blavatt said. "We're down to ridiculously low numbers. It's great we haven't cut at the school level, we haven't cut teachers, but you still have to have the infrastructure there to support teachers."

Under the new structure, the assistant superintendent for "teaching and learning" would oversee most of the district's instructional components and departments, such as the principals, curriculum and assessment, community and adult education, and professional development.

This person would also take responsibility for the technology information services department, currently overseen by Heather Martin, the executive director of business services. Martin would retain oversight of human resources, finance, purchasing and food and nutrition.

The second assistant superintendent would be for student support services, overseeing federal programs such as Title I, exceptional student education, student services, and the nuts-and-bolts departments of facilities, maintenance and transportation.

A few years ago, Martin and two other executive directors divvied up oversight of these three areas, but the leadership staff was trimmed under then-superintendent Wayne Alexander to save money.

"I don't think we've recovered from it yet," Blavatt said.

Last year, the board agreed to bring back an assistant superintendent position, currently held by Sonya Jackson.

Blavatt said the district also needs more itinerant positions, staffers who are based at headquarters but spend most of their time providing support at the school level. He cited ESE as a prime example of an area that needs more help.

Blavatt declined to offer much more in the way of specifics this week. In fact, on Tuesday he will only be asking the board for permission to bring back a formal reorganization proposal.

He acknowledged, though, that the plan would cost money. When pressed for an estimate, Blavatt said the additional positions he has in mind could cost as much as $400,000. The scope of the final proposal will depend on how the budget picture — which is expected to be bleak — shapes up in the coming weeks, he said.

The proposal isn't a surprise to board member Sandra Nicholson. Blavatt had indicated from the beginning that the district needed more help, Nicholson said. She promised to listen closely Tuesday.

"It's going to come to the bottom line and if we can afford it," Nicholson said.

On another front, Blavatt has kept his promise not to do a lot of shifting of school-level administrators. In fact, Blavatt is not moving any principals or assistant principals on his own accord.

Robert Griffin, assistant principal at Nature Coast Technical High School, is not being reappointed at the recommendation of principal Toni-Ann Noyes, Martin said. Neither Griffin nor Noyes returned a call for comment.

There are at least three administrative posts opening due to promotions, retirements or transfers that will have to be filled in the coming weeks. That process, in turn, tends to create more vacancies when internal applicants are successful.

The top priority is the vacancy left by Westside Elementary principal Dominick Ferello, Martin said. Ferello, under fire from teachers at his school, has asked for a transfer and for now is headed for the assistant principal position at Eastside Elementary that will be open due to the retiring John Shepherd.

The application period for the Westside job closes Wednesday and the plan is to have someone in place by July 1, Martin said. The internal applicants, as of Friday afternoon: Griffin of Nature Coast; Jamie Young, assistant principal at Powell Middle; Carmine Rufa, assistant principal at West Hernando Middle; and Dianne Azzarelli, assistant principal at Explorer K-8.

Tony Marrero can be reached at (352) 848-1431 or [email protected]

New Hernando superintendent wants to fortify leadership 05/28/10 [Last modified: Friday, May 28, 2010 8:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tallest building in Pinellas County in search of a new name

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — The name "Priatek" is gone from Pinellas County's tallest building, perhaps to be replaced by that of a much better-known company new to the Tampa Bay area.

    The Priatek name is off of downtown St. Petersburg's tallest building.
 [LARA CERRI  |   Times.  2015]
  2. Video: The scene in Seminole Heights at the sites of three killings

    News

    Tampa police have blanketed the Southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood during their investigation of three shooting deaths over 11 days that they believe to be related.

    Balloons and candles seen along 15th Street where Anthony Naiboa, 20, was found dead on Oct. 19, photographed in Southeast Seminole Heights in Tampa on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. Three shooting deaths in the area in the last two weeks are considered by police to be related.
  3. FBI: Florida man sympathized with IS, wanted to bomb mall

    Courts

    MIAMI (AP) — A Florida man who described himself as a sympathizer of the Islamic State extremist group faces terrorism-related charges stemming from a purported plot to bomb a Miami-area shopping mall, according to court documents filed Monday.

    An undated file image posted on an extremist website on Jan. 14, 2014, shows fighters from the Islamic State group marching in Raqqa, Syria. The group champions a hyper-religious lifestyle grounded in a self-proclaimed caliphate, but most recruits have a superficial understanding of religion and are largely ignorant in the laws of Islam. [Militant photo, via Associated Press]
  4. Frog Pond restaurant opens new location in downtown St. Petersburg

    Blogs

    There's a new option for breakfast and lunch in downtown St. Petersburg.

    Frog Pond's original location, seen here in 2006, has been open in North Redington Beach for 35 years. A new Frog Pond restaurant opened in St. Petersburg this week.
  5. Estuary wins pier design contest for the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway extension

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — And the winner is… Estuary.

    Voters overwhelmingly supported a pier design called Estuary for the $200-million extension of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in Tampa.
[Courtesy of AECOM]