CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Clay County Superintendent of Schools Addison Davis has been named as one of the eight semifinalists to become the next superintendent of Hillsborough County’s public school system in what has become a contentious search, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Davis, who has served as Clay County superintendent since 2016, was among 51 candidates who applied for the job last month in the Tampa area.
“I am honored and humbled to advance to the next stage of the selection process for the position of Superintendent for Hillsborough County Public Schools," Davis said in a statement to News4Jax on Wednesday. "I look forward to having collective conversations with board members, community members, educators, and civic leaders to discuss pathways for building upon the current successes and improving the educational experiences for all students in Hillsborough County. I am excited about the potential to partner with the school board and look forward to the many possibilities to create a positive impact on the community.”
Davis was named a semifinalist after he received high marks from school board members, the Times reported.
The newspaper said Davis, the only sitting Florida superintendent to apply for the position in Hillsborough, has been met with opposition and questions from the NAACP about Clay County’s student discipline statistics.
In a statement to News4Jax last month, Davis said a search firm encouraged him to apply for the Hillborough County position.
The candidates will replace Jeff Eakins, the current school superintendent who is set to retire June 30.
The Times reported the Hillsborough County School Board will narrow the current list to five and then narrow to two. The next superintendent in Hillsborough County could be picked Jan. 21.
Clay County will elect or re-elect a superintendent in 2020, and as of Wednesday, Davis was still listed as an active candidate with nearly $40,000 in his campaign war chest.
News4Jax reported last month that Charlie Van Zant, the former Clay County superintendent of schools, also filed to run again in 2020 for his old job.