Duval County schools hopes to hire new superintendent by June

School Board plans to release RFP for search firm 1st week of January

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - When will Duval County Public Schools have a new superintendent? School leaders now say a permanent superintendent for Dr. Nicolai Vitti, who left for Detroit in June, by next summer.

At a Tuesday School Board meeting, the board said it expects to release a request for proposals Jan. 4 to find a search firm, with a deadline for submissions of Jan. 25. The board hopes to evaluate proposals, interview three or four firms and award a contract in February or March. 

The district set three criteria for the search firm:

  1. Experience and qualifications 
  2. Scope of services provided 
  3. Cost 
     

The board also wants a company with at least three years of experience in hiring CEOs and one that has hired at least three CEOs previously. 

Last week, Board Chairwoman Paula Wright said it is a lengthy process because the district needs to find a superintendent who not only has experience, but someone who can take Duval County Public Schools to the next level.

She asked that people be patient during the process.

"We are a big district poised to be an A district, and in order to take that leap into the A division, we’ve got to make certain that we have a leader who is not just experienced in education and has experience in leadership, but that has humility and who perpetuates an era of respect for all others," Wright said last week.

Interim School Superintendent Patricia Willis has agreed to remain in place until the next leader is hired.

For perspective, on the length of the process, the last time there was a superintendent change, outgoing Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals gave notice in February 2012, a search firm was hired in April and Vitti was hired in September. His first day on the job was in November.

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