Ed Pratt-Dannals takes final tour of schools as tenure comes to end

Duval County superintendent reflects on accomplishments

Published On: Nov 08 2012 03:51:04 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 08 2012 08:49:07 PM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

With a new superintendent headed to Duval County, outgoing Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals is on his final tour of schools.

Friday is his last day on the job.

Pratt-Dannals stopped by his old stomping grounds Thursday -- Lee High School -- as students celebrated his tenure with Duval County Public Schools.

"To interact with them is really great, brings back the memories of being principal here for four and half years," Pratt-Dannals said.

On his next-to-last day, he wanted to see the school he led for several years. Lee was originally constructed in the 1920s and is now in the middle of a renovation.

"The old building was really old and in desperate need of the kind of rehab that we were able to do," Pratt-Dannals said. "So I was glad we were able to do it, basically top to bottom, floor to ceiling, new technology, lighting. So it's going to be a great new building now, while preserving the architectural heritage."

As Pratt-Dannals' time as superintendent comes to an end and the school's construction nears completion, he said there's still a lot of work to be done within the district.

"We intentionally banked some money knowing that we were going to hit a fiscal cliff, so you've heard about that federally, we're still in that posture," Pratt-Dannals said. "So we're spending down those reserves, and very quickly within the next year, there's going to have to be some tough decisions made."

Thinking toward the future, he took time on his tour to reflect on the highlights of his past.

"You've seen our statistics in terms of the number of students graduating with a college preparatory curriculum, far more students passing the test so they don't have to remediate in college, far more students, almost triple the number of students in career academies to prepare for high-wage jobs," Pratt-Dannals said.

Proud of his work here, he now plans to create his own academic opportunities as he works toward the completion of his doctorate degree.