On Tuesday, Nov. 14, the Hernando County School Board met for a nearly three-hour Organizational and Regular School Board Meeting. Two of the first agenda items that afternoon were a pair of elections: that of a chairperson and a subsequent vote for a vice chair of the school board. The items designated 24-1824 and 24-1828, respectively, followed a call to order, a reflection, the pledge of allegiance, and the approval to adopt the agenda.
Current Chairperson Gus Guadagnino nominated Linda Prescott for the position, while Shannon Rodriguez nominated Mark Johnson. Susan Duval seconded the motion for Prescott. When the board cast their votes on whether to elevate Prescott to the role, the count went 3-2 in favor of her taking over Guadagnino’s now-former position. Board Members Guadagnino, Prescott, and Duval were in favor, while Johnson and Rodriguez dissented.
The new chairperson was appreciative of the opportunity. “Thank you,” Prescott said. “I will certainly do my best, although Gus and Susan are a hard act to follow.”
This is Prescott’s second bout as board chair, as she was also elected in Nov. 2020 and served until Nov. 16, 2021. Gus Guadagnino was elected to this position in both 2021 and 2022.
For the role of vice chairperson to the school board, Mark Johnson nominated Rodriguez, while Guadagnino nominated Susan Duval. Since the first motion was for Rodriguez, the board members cast their votes on whether to elect her to the position first. After some initial confusion, the motion failed by a vote of 2-3. Rodriguez and Johnson were outvoted by the dissenting votes of Guadagnino, Prescott, and Duval.
Up next was the vote on whether to elevate Duval to the position. Seconded by Prescott, the vote proceeded to pass by another 3-2 decision along the same lines as before: Guadagnino, Prescott, and Duval in support and Johnson and Rodriguez casting votes of “no.”
Newly minted Chairperson Linda Prescott congratulated Duval on her election before the school board went to a five-minute recess. Once they returned, Prescott had officially taken over Guadagnino’s role including his chair directly to the right of Superintendent John Stratton. The board then continued with their litany of agenda items for the afternoon.
Two more of these items concerned the new chair and vice chairpersons. Chairperson Prescott was appointed to become the president of the leasing company, while Vice Chairperson Duval was appointed vice president of the leasing corporation. Motions for these appointments were made by Duval and Johnson, respectively, seconded by Gus Guadagnino, and both passed by unanimous votes of 5-0.