SPRING HILL — Carmine Rufa started his education career teaching gym class at D.S. Parrott Middle School 18 years ago.
In 2012, he was named principal at West Hernando Middle School.
This week, Rufa was tapped by Hernando County Schools Superintendent Lori Romano as the new principal at Springstead High School. Rufa replaces Susan Duval, who held the post for 11 years and is retiring at the end of June.
“While I will miss my colleagues at West Hernando, I am excited about the opportunity to rejoin the Springstead family,” Rufa said in a news release.
In the release, Romano said that Rufa was the No. 1 pick of a committee tasked with finding Duval’s successor.
“Mr. Rufa has done some really fantastic things during his time at West Hernando, which has consistently been one of our highest performing middle schools,” Romano said.
She cited his passion for education and “tireless efforts to find new ways to improve schools.”
Rufa was one of three finalists for the job, said Eric Williams, spokesman for the Hernando County School District. Of the 17 people who applied for the job, 10 met the basic qualifications outlined in the job description.
Five candidates accepted offers to interview for the post, and a 15-member committee recommended Rufa as the No. 1 pick, Williams said.
After teaching physical education at Parrott Middle, Rufa served as an assistant principal at Springstead, Powell Middle and West Hernando Middle.
Rufa plans to spend significant time meeting with Springstead’s staff over the summer.
“I certainly have big shoes to fill,” Rufa said. “But it’s nice knowing I’m going to a place where good systems are already in place. So, I’m certain we can hit the ground running and maintain the momentum at Springstead.”