Suncoast Elementary School principal Richard Fauble has accepted a job as superintendent of schools in Litchfield, Mich., and will leave Hernando County in early April.
"This was just something I've wanted to do and have always planned," said Fauble, reached Friday in his hotel room in Michigan. "Michigan is where I started my career, and it's where I wanted to end it. At my age, being a superintendent was where I wanted to be."
Fauble, 50, came to Hernando in 1986 as an economics teacher and testing coordinator at Springstead High School. Two years later, he was promoted to principal at Springstead, a post he held until becoming Suncoast's first principal at the start of the 1994-95 school year.
"I've really enjoyed my 11 years in Hernando County," he said. "I've had good staffs and met some great people. It's one of those things where you hate to leave."
The search for Fauble's replacement has begun. The application period will end Friday.
Fauble was in Michigan last week preparing for a meeting today with the Litchfield School Board, at which time his contract will be finalized.
Fauble said Litchfield is a district with 800 students and a strong academic and athletic tradition. Ninety miles west of Detroit, it's not a suburban community but is heavily dependent on neighboring Battle Creek, Jackson and Lansing.
Fauble and his family have received some attention for their hobby of buying and restoring 19th-century homes. With his wife, Bethany, and three adult sons, Fauble recently renovated a 8,000-square-foot home in the historic district of Quincy, west of Tallahassee, turning it into the McFarlin House Bed and Breakfast.
In a Times story in 1995, teachers and staff members at Suncoast praised Fauble for his dedication to his work and his laid-back personality.
"He's very easygoing," secretary Paula Davis said. "He's very good with the kids. They love him."