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Detroit reps visit Vitti in Jacksonville as search continues

Duval County superintendent is finalist for Detroit job

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An update is expected Monday on Detroit Public Schools' search for a new leader, which includes Duval County superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti, who is one of two finalists for the Detroit job.

Detroit school representatives were in Jacksonville on Wednesday visiting schools.

They stopped by Andrew Robinson Elementary, R.L. Brown Elementary and Ribault High School.

They also went by the Young Men and Women's Leadership Academies at Eugene Butler Middle School and 'Bridge to Success' at West Jacksonville.

Vitti spent a full day interviewing in Detroit last week, including touring schools, meeting principals and participating in two public sessions involving questions from the community and a board meeting with interview questions from the newly elected Detroit Public Schools Board.

Vitti, who worked in Miami before taking over the Duval County district -- the 20th largest school district in the country – told the board that he has experience in large urban districts.

The Detroit Community District, which was created last year by the Michigan Legislature, includes all of the students, staff and buildings from the failed Detroit Public School District, which was in financial crisis in 2009 when it was taken over by the state. Since then, more than 100 schools have closed and five emergency managers have run the school district.

Vitti told the community that he knows he can help Detroit's struggling district.

There were originally three finalists for the position, but Orlando Ramos, a regional superintendent in Milwaukee Public Schools, dropped out. News4Jax has learned that decision came after a newspaper there reported he had a past bankruptcy filing.

Detroit has a special board meeting planned Monday and will provide an update on the search during the meeting.