CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Parents, students and faculty at Clay County schools are wondering who will next lead the district after learning Superintendent Addision Davis has accepted a job in Hillsborough County.
The news is not something school board member Janice Kerekes was hoping to hear. She was a strong supporter of Davis when he ran for the job in Clay County.
“It proves to us that Addision Davis was the absolute best candidate four years ago,” Kerekes said. “He came forward, had a passion and our district has improved.”
Kerekes says the district will now have to scramble to find an interim superintendent and that two things will probably happen. She said the board will likely vote for an interim superintendent in early February. Then, Gov. Ron DeSantis will either decide to stick with that interim superintendent or name his own.
That interim superintendent would serve until the election of a new superintendent later this year.
Currently, the candidates for Clay County superintendent include former Clay County Superintendent Charlie Van Zant and Melanie Dawn Wells of Keystone Heights.
Kerekes, who has opposed Van Zant in the past, says there might be another candidate who files to run.
“I’ve been in contact with several extremely qualified individuals who I think would make an excellent superintendent, and I’m very confident that one of them will be filing for it in the very near future,” Kerekes said.
It’s unclear how soon Davis will leave his position as Clay County superintendent. A statement from Davis reads:
"During this transition, I will be working collectively with the Clay County School Board and the Governor's Office to ensure the great work that has taken place over the last three years continues in our school district. Over the next few months, an interim superintendent will be appointed and will fulfill this role until the completion of the November 2020 Election.Currently, the transition timeline has not been determined and I will continue to lead the work as Superintendent of Clay County Schools. Rest assured that the District has highly qualified leaders in place who will continue the instructional momentum and make child-centric decisions.
“For the past 16 years, I have had the pleasure of living in and raising my family in Clay County, and this has truly been a special place that I call home. As Superintendent of Clay County District Schools, I have been able to impact thousands of students, teachers, support professionals, and families to help them reach their full potential. I have now been given the opportunity to touch the lives of 220,000 students and many more throughout Hillsborough County. I am thankful to be selected to embrace this new challenge to shape and direct the educational practices in the 7th largest district in the nation!”