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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Blavatt will lead Education Foundation


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BROOKSVILLE - Former School Superintendent Bryan Blavatt was announced Thursday as the new executive director of the Hernando County Education Foundation.

Foundation President Tammy Brinker said the organization has been without an executive director since February.

"We're very pleased to get somebody in with his background and experience within the county and school system," Brinker said. "We're hoping to bring a lot in for our teachers with grants coming up."

Executive director is a $36,000 salaried position excluding a bonus, according to Brinker, which will be determined based on how much money is raised.

The foundation also is currently interviewing applicants for an administrative assistant, she said.

"Through the state consortium matching grants, we're going to be applying for that this week, and hopefully we'll be able to match a lot from that," Brinker said. "We have special needs, STEM and classroom grants for supplies that teachers may have to currently pay for out of their own pockets."

Technology grants also will be a main area of focus, Blavatt said.

"Hopefully we'll be doing more really in the area of technology and providing some of the technology needs the district doesn't have taken care of by the state," Blavatt said. "One of my goals is expanded membership, to make it more available to business, which we have now, but community members, parents, and people that want to help support ways to help the school district."

Blavatt announced his retirement about a month ago prior to leaving the superintendent's office.

In other education news, Florida Department of Education Commissioner, Tony Bennett, resigned Thursday amid allegations he changed the grade of a charter school run by a large donor while working as Indiana's state superintendent.

He lost re-election before being hired in December as education commissioner of Florida. Bennett denied the allegations Thursday, saying he was stepping down to not be a distraction during the state's transition to Common Core State Standards.

Prior to becoming commissioner, Bennett was a teacher, basketball coach, assistant superintendent, and school superintendent, according to his 2012 campaign website.

"This experience has provided Tony a firm understanding of the important role education plays in the lives of Hoosier children," it shows.

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