BROOKSVILLE — New principals at Westside Elementary and Hernando Middle School were named this week, as well as a new Human Resources director for the Hernando County School District.
Schools Superintendent Lori Romano tapped Lori Lessley, 51, to lead West Hernando and Kristina Garofano, 36 to head Westside Elementary. Lessley and Garofano previously worked at their respective schools.
Romano chose Sarah Meaker, 50, as the new Human Resources director. Meaker has experience teaching at the university level and once trained supervisors for the Department of Homeland Security, according to her resume.
Lessley previously worked as an assistant principal at West Hernando and was an assistant principal at Springstead High School last year, the district said in a news release.
Lessley said she looks forward to her new job and increasing community and parent involvement.
Garofano taught at Westside for seven years before earning a master’s degree in educational leadership at the University of South Florida in 2008. She then worked as an assistant principal at Winding Waters K-8 and Explorer K-8 schools.
“I am proud to return to a school with great traditions and look forward to working with the dedicated staff and hardworking students at Westside,” Garofano said in the release. “It is an amazing opportunity for me to work with such a strong school community as we continue to move the school forward.”
A self-described soccer mom and “collaborative leader,” Meaker, mother of 14-year-old daughter, Lily, said she wants to visit every school in the district within two weeks of starting her new job.
“I don’t ever want to lose touch with my customers,” Meaker said in a release. “Teachers, principals, parents, even students are our customers, and it’s my job to ensure that our customers have all the tools they need to be successful.”
Meaker most recently worked as a manager of client services for Right Intentions, Inc. in Bradenton, where she also ran Meaker & Associates, which led individual and group human resources programs.
Meaker earned a Ph.D. in leadership and education, human resource development, from Barry University in Miami Shores, according to her resume. She later taught human resource management and development as an adjunct professor at Barry.
Meaker said she looks forward to kayaking on the Weeki Wachee River.
A district committee is expected to interview candidates to fill the principal’s position at Powell Middle School next week, the news release said.