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New principals will be at the helm at five Hernando schools

Springstead High School will be under new leadership during the coming school year for the first time in a decade, highlighting one of several changes in principals across the Hernando County School District.

After her most recent 11-year stint as Sprinstead's principal, Susan Duval retired this summer and was replaced by former West Hernando Middle School principal Carmine Rufa, 47.

Rufa has taught physical education and health, and coached at the school, and also briefly served as an assistant principal. In addition, one of his two sons is a sophomore at Springstead. His other son was the school's class of 2014 class valedictorian.

The district also has new faces in the top spots at four other schools.

The new principal at Powell Middle will be Lisa Piesik, 42, who was part of the administrative duo that transformed Eastside Elementary from an F to a C during past school year.

Lori Lessley, 51, will take over at West Hernando Middle for Rufa. Lessley served as an assistant principal at West Hernando between 2011 and 2013 before moving to an assistant principal position at Springstead High for a year.

Kristina Garofano, 37, has been tapped to lead Westside Elementary School. She replaces principal Gina Michalicka, who has been promoted to the district office to become the supervisor of elementary programs.

Latressa Jones, 31, will serve as the principal at Endeavor Academy, an alternative school for students with behavior issues. Jones most recently served as one of the assistant principals at Springstead High. Prior to that, she was an assistant principal at Central High and a counselor for academic enrichment programs for at-risk youth, according to a news release.

Contact Danny Valentine at or (352) 848-1432. Follow @HernandoTimes.

New principals will be at the helm at five Hernando schools 07/31/14 [Last modified: Thursday, July 31, 2014 3:59pm]
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