Former Hernando County schools superintendent Lori Romano is making a quick rise through the ranks of the Pasco County school district.
Fired by her School Board in June amid accusations of ineffective leadership, Romano took a mid-level job weeks later as Pasco's lone full-time grants writer.
Five months into the post, which Pasco officials deemed critical to finding outside revenue sources, Romano was nominated to fill the district's senior supervisor of federal/state grants and shared services post, beginning in March.
She would replace veteran administrator Tammy Rabon, who is retiring.
The job, which carries a maximum salary of $101,599, oversees a staff of four that directs high-profile areas including school choice, charter schools and Title I. She currently makes $80,000 a year, down from the $150,000 she made as superintendent.
As superintendent Kurt Browning brought Romano to the district, a handful of critics contended Pasco should not import Hernando's problems. At the same time, many observers predicted she would move up the ladder quickly.
District spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said Romano won her new post over other applicants, after a strong interview and equally strong job performance.
"She's highly qualified," Cobbe said. "She's done a terrific job boosting our grants productivity, and she's fit in really well with our staff."
Any issues she had in Hernando appeared largely political, as Romano held a "lightning rod" position, and they have not surfaced in Pasco, Cobbe said.
Contact Jeffrey S. Solochek at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @jeffsolochek.