BROOKSVILLE —A longtime Hernando County schools administrator who served in the cabinet of recently fired Superintendent Lori Romano will now serve as her temporary replacement.
John Stratton was appointed superintendent by a unanimous vote of the Hernando County School Board on Tuesday evening.
As executive director of business services for the district, Stratton was one of the few candidates considered by board members during Monday's special meeting to discuss filling Romano's spot. The board voted 3-2 to fire her on June 12.
Following the vote, board Chairman Mark Johnson called for a short break so that Stratton could take Romano's seat on the dais. As the departing superintendent stepped down, Johnson asked those in the audience to give her a round of applause.
"We're just going to keep moving forward with the great initiatives that have already been put in place and keep focused on increasing student achievement," Stratton told the Tampa Bay Times following the vote.
He will lead the district through November's election, when three contested school board seats will be decided. Meanwhile, current board members will start searching for candidates to permanently fill the superintendent post by this time in 2019, when Stratton's contract runs out.
Stratton, 52, was hired by the district in 2005 as assistant principal of Challenger K-8 School Of Science And Math. He stayed in the position until 2008, when he became assistant principal of Central High School.
Next he was promoted to become principal of Endeavor Academy, the county's alternative school for at-risk students. He returned to Explorer K-8 and served as principal from 2010 to 2013. Then he was appointed as Central High's principal through 2016.
Stratton took his first district-level job as executive director of academic services in 2016. As executive director of business services, he serves as the district's chief negotiator in bargaining talks with the teachers union since July.
The new title earns him a boost in annual salary from $97,925 to $124,000 plus a $500 per month automobile allowance.
Contact Megan Reeves at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @mareevs.