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Monday, Mar 30, 2015

School board chooses its leaders

Jeff Schmucker Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 07:23 PM

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Newly selected School Board Chairman Matt Foreman had the gavel for less than 5 minutes before he was handing it back to the superintendent.

It wasn't that Foreman wanted to relinquish his position permanently on Tuesday. Instead, he intended to jump into the nomination and discussion of selecting the board's vice chair since the other three board members who were present were offering none.

Board Member John Sweeney was absent from the meeting.

Every year, the board chooses a new chair and vice chairman — who generally fills in if the chairman is absent, or takes the gavel in the event of a conflict of interest.

Both leadership positions are annually selected based on nominations and votes among the board members.

Following a unanimous vote to select Foreman as the chairman, nominations were asked for the vice chair, to which Foreman was faced with dead silence.

"Congratulation, you'll be serving alone," joked Superintendent Bryan Blavatt.

Foreman then warned the board that he would hand his gavel back and jump into nominating his second-in-command.

"Traditionally, with this board, the chair gives everyone else the opportunity to speak and make their nominations first," Foreman said. "I'm trying to honor that tradition, but if nobody's going to move, I nominate Mr. (Gus) Guadagnino."

True to his word, he handed the gavel to Blavatt and nominated Guadagnino, who moments before was sworn in to serve on the board after having won the November general election for the seat formerly held by James Yant.

Guadagnino said it would be his honor to serve as the vice chairman, and he likewise was approved for the title by a unanimous vote.

Tuesday's actions mean the two newest members on the elected board now have the two top leadership positions.

Foreman was vice chairman throughout this year and was brought on the board in September 2011 to fill a council seat left vacant by Pat Fagan. He won the seat in August during the primary election.

Meanwhile, Blavatt thanked outgoing chairwoman Cynthia Moore, who held the title throughout this year.

"You've done a great job. I've enjoyed my time working with you and I respect your dedication to children," Blavatt said. "In all my years in education, I don't know anyone who cares for kids more than you do." (352) 544-5271

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