Clay County closely watching Duval school superintendent's job prospects

Clay's Addison Davis mentioned as possible replacement for Nikolai Vitti

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County isn't the only local county watching closely as Nikolai Vitti is considered as the new school superintendent for Detroit.

One of the names Vitti mentioned as a possible replacement were he to leave Duval County was Clay County Superintendent Addison Davis, who was recently elected to the job by citizens hoping to heal divisions left by the previous superintendent.

Davis told News4Jax he was committed to Clay County, but didn't answer a direct question about whether he would take the job in Jacksonville, if it were offered. The Duval County job is higher profile and pays almost twice as much.

"I’m flattered about it, but my job is to stay committed to my work currently," Davis said. "I’ve had no conversations with anyone about a role."

Clay County parents had mixed feelings about the prospect that Davis could take a different job.

"Got to get the money," Jason Saulsberry said. "I’d do the same thing."

"That would upset me greatly," said a parent who is also a Clay County teacher and did not want a name used. "We’re just getting to know him. He’s starting to make some really excellent changes and a good vision for Clay County, and I think it would be disappointing if he were to leave."

The Clay County School Board had at times a hostile relationship with previous Superintendent Charlie Van Zant. Board members who supported Davis in the election were clearly hoping he would stay.

"I feel strongly that Mr. Davis has done a remarkable job already, that he has laid the groundwork for something big here, and he is going to follow through with it," board member Mary Bolla said.

Van Zant, who was defeated for re-election last August, said he wished both Vitti and Davis well "in whatever they decide to do."

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