Duval County closer to hiring search firm for new school superintendent

Request for proposals could go out as early as next week

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - When will Duval County Public Schools have a new superintendent? School leaders may know more on the timetable soon.

At a workshop with school leaders and two school board members Wednesday, Chairwoman Paula Wright described it as 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.

Wright and the rest of the board are eager to get a permanent superintendent in this seat, but willing to take their time to find the perfect fit. 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.

The first step is hiring a search firm, for which the district set three criteria:

  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. 

District leaders Wednesday went over the draft request for proposals from search firms. The full board will meet next Tuesday, when it's expected to have a better idea of how long the process will take.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti left Duval County for Detroit in June and interim superintendent Patricia Willis has agreed to remain in place until the next leader is hired.

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