Duval County superintendent semifinalist withdraws

Frederick Heid's decision stems from personal, professional reasons

By Melanie Schultz - Media content editor

Five semifinalists for Duval County Public Schools superintendent position

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Five semifinalists now remain for the Duval County Public Schools superintendent position after Frederick Heid withdrew his name for consideration.

Heid, an Illinois district superintendent and former DCPS chief academic officer, penned a letter on Monday to School Board Chairwoman Paula Wright informing her of his application withdrawal.

His decision was for both personal and professional reasons, which included the timeline and commitments he has as the current superintendent of the Community Unit School District 300 in Algonquin, Illinois.

Heid’s son will also be transitioning into middle school and he wanted to provide stability and focus on his family since prior professional pursuits have relocated them six times.

Heid had nothing but the highest level of optimism regarding the potential for the students, teachers and community in Duval County and was grateful for the opportunity to be a candidate to lead the district.

The five remaining candidates, who are from around the country, include three who currently hold the title of superintendent and two who are chief of schools in their respective districts:

  • Dr. Michael Dunsmore -- superintendent, Wayne County, North Carolina, 3 years at Wayne County Public Schools, with $195 million annual budget
  • Dr. Diana Greene -- superintendent, Manatee County, 3 years in Bradenton, with $886 million annual budget (first teaching job was in Duval County)
  • Dr. Sito Narcisse -- chief of schools, Metro Nashville Public Schools, 19 months leading district with $890 million annual budget
  • Harrison Peters -- chief of schools, Hillsborough County, 14 months in Tampa, with $2.3 billion annual budget
  • Dr. Erick Pruitt -- superintendent for Houston Independent School District, 1 year leading district with $1.5 billion annual budget

The school board will have candidate meetings with each of the semifinalists on May 11. A second round of in-person interviews will be conducted May 16-18.

BIOS: Career highlights for 5 Duval County superintendent semifinalists

The board's goal is to pick the next superintendent and offer a contract by June 1. They hope to have the new leader in place by July 1.

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