BROOKSVILLE — A Port St. Lucie high school principal with nearly 40 years of experience as an educator and administrator was tapped as the Hernando County School District’s assistant superintendent for academic services.
Alan Cox, principal at St. Lucie West Centennial High School, was offered the position this week by Schools Superintendent Lori Romano. Cox said he expects to start by July 15.
“I know a little bit about the school district, and I’ve been a high school principal for a number of years,” said Cox, an Indiana native. “I came to St. Lucie County as an assistant superintendent, but there were a lot of budget cuts, and I went back into a school.”
In St. Lucie, Cox was principal at Lincoln Park Academy from 2008 to 2013, when he went to St. Lucie West Centennial High.
Cox said that the Hernando and St. Lucie districts both have faced similar crises, both financially and educationally.
“I like a good challenge,” he said. “I have been successful in getting schools to raise scores from C’s to A’s, and I want to be in a district where I can help schools do that.
“From what I’ve read, the new superintendent (Romano), has tried diligently to keep people’s jobs, and I want to do that, as well as maintain services to students.”
Cox, 61, is expected to earn $88,000 per year.
He earned a bachelor’s degree at Purdue University, a master’s in secondary and elementary education from Butler University and an education specialist degree from Ball State University, according to his resume.
Cox previously worked as a schools superintendent in Kentland, Ind., a district with about 1,400 students.
Romano said in a news release that members of the district’s selection committee were impressed by Cox’s passion and focus on “research-based best practices.”
Cox replaces Ken Pritz, whose contract was not renewed after more than 30 years with the school district.
In December, Romano transferred Pritz to the district’s plant operations site as manager of warehouse and purchasing, reasoning that his skills were more suited to that setting. Pritz, who made $101,725 a year, appealed the transfer.
“This is not a new assistant superintendent position, we just renamed (the position) to assistant superintendent for academic services,” Eric Williams, the school district’s public information officer, said in an email.