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HomeAdvertisementAn Urgent Message for the Citizens of Hernando County

An Urgent Message for the Citizens of Hernando County

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I am Gus Guadagnino. For the past twelve years I’ve represented you on the Hernando County School Board. Now, we, the members of the school board are tasked with an important decision−one which will affect, not just the students in the Hernando County public schools, but the whole community.

In the next two weeks, we will choose an interim superintendent of schools to replace John Stratton, who’ll be retiring at the end of this school term. All five of us on the school board need to take this decision seriously because whomever we hire will be leading our school district with more than 24,000 students, approximately 3,100 staff members, and a budget of over 500 million dollars.

This decision must be made on a timely basis so that there is a smooth transition from our current leadership to our new. We are in a crisis because the person taking over for Mr. Stratton needs to be qualified for the job, and ready to hit the ground running, be familiar with the issues and the workings of the school system and brought up to speed as to what the job entails and what the priorities are. Ideally, this would be someone currently in a high-level administrative position.
I was elected to represent ALL the people of Hernando County and am being paid to do an important job. The school board has always been non-partisan and we must keep politics out of the mix. The person who is named as the interim superintendent must have the welfare of the students, instructors and support staff as their priority. They cannot be chosen because they’re personal friends with or have the same political viewpoint as a school board member.

Like any corporation with a board of directors, the school board is the governing board for the school system. The corporation’s board of directors hires the CEO (in our case, a Superintendent) and the board makes the decisions for the stockholders. You, the taxpayers, are the stockholders in our school system and we, the board, make the same types of decisions as the board of any corporation. We are answerable to YOU to decide on everything from how to spend the money that is raised by your taxes and what technology will be adapted in the schools to who should be in charge (the CEO) of the school system.

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We cannot let special interests, politics or pressure from anyone cloud our decisions! The welfare of the students for many years to come will be determined by who sits in the superintendent’s chair. The economy and the quality of life in our community is dependent on how our children are educated.

We are at a turning point here in Hernando County, just like the rest of the country. The next two to three years will see more transformation in education than the past twenty years with cultural, economic, social changes, technology, A. I. (Artificial Intelligence) and innovations. It is the responsibility of the Superintendent, the educators and ultimately the school board to make sure that our graduating students are prepared and well educated for the next chapter of their life, whether it’s College, Military, or Career (locally or globally) etc.

I feel confident we are blessed to have current administrators who are very capable and willing to step up to the plate for Interim Superintendent.

(In closing, there were two reasons why I decided to write this commentary. #1 to be transparent, so that you can be aware of what is happening! And #2 to let all know there is no reason to panic because we have an amazing team of administrators that work together day in and day out for excellence in education and the good of all.)

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