Leadership Development


Applicants must be approved as candidates in order to be considered for any assistant principal vacancies.  The pathways to becoming an approved candidate are listed below.  Previous school-based administrators in Hernando County Schools may be required to complete some or all of the applicable pathway requirements before being relisted as an approved candidate.

Internal Candidate:

  1. Certification in Educational Leadership;
  2. Updated resume to reflect current position and experience;
  3. Reference from current principal or supervisor;
  4. Apply for the Aspiring Leaders Academy through the Office of Professional Development.
  • Application window opened twice a year (Fall and Spring)
  • All eligible applicants must pass the Principal Panel interview phase to move into the AP Pool.

External Candidate:

External candidates will apply through the Assistant Principal Pool External Candidate job posting.  Job posting is opened at least twice a year (Fall and Spring).  Candidates will be required to fill out and submit a completed application with all requested information before being considered for entrance into the Assistant Principal Pool.

For entrance as an external candidate, you need:

  1. Two or more years of experience as a principal or assistant principal;
  2. Copies of your last two years evaluations;
  3. Updated Resume;
  4. Reference from your previous supervisor;
  5. Florida certification in Educational Leadership or School Principal;


Currently included on an approved candidate list in another school district, provided that the requirements to be included on the list are similar to the qualifications of persons listed on Hernando’s approved candidate list;

  • Certified in Educational Leadership or School Principal 
  • A rating of effective or higher on your two most recent annual performance evaluations

Entrance in a like pool must be within the last two years and you must submit a copy of your acceptance letter.

*HCSD shall determine whether an external candidate’s education, training and/or experience satisfy the requirements to become an approved candidate.  Interviews with district leadership may be required and documentation, including but not limited to, work history, references, and any disciplinary records may be considered prior to an external candidate being eligible to apply for vacancies in Hernando County Schools.

If you have questions or need further information, please contact Dr. Paula Clark at clark_p@hcsb.k12.fl.us for assistance.


Purpose: The School Principal Certification Program in Hernando County provides future principal candidates with learning experiences that align with the Florida Principal Leadership Standards as well as Hernando’s Vision for Leadership Excellence. In accordance with 1012.562, F.S.  – Rule 6A-5.081, F.A.C. Effective Date: December 2016. Applicants for School Principal certification will engage in a yearlong preparation program that requires demonstration of excellence in all core leadership competencies. 

Our Level II program is a year long rigorous learning experience in partnership with the GulfCoast Partnership at USF.

RequirementsInternal candidates only for this program must:

  • Currently possess a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and have Educational Leadership on their Florida Educator certificate
  • Have completed three years of successful experience serving as a school based assistant principal (experience requirement related to NEW Florida Leadership rule).

Applications are released internally each year accepted in the Office of Professional Development each March.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Dr. Paula Clark at clark_p@hcsb.k12.fl.us.