Board picks 5 finalists for school superintendent

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Duval County School Board will bring in five of the 30 applicants for superintendent of schools for interviews later this month.

Current Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals will retire in December. The candidates who will be interviewed are:

  • Kriner Cash - superintendent of Memphis, Tenn., School District (Review application)
  • Kathryn LeRoy - chief academic officer of Duval County Public Schools (Review application)
  • William Miller - executive director of Michigan Association of Statewide Intermediate School Administrators (Review application)
  • Dale Robbins - associate superintendent of Gwinnett, Ga., School District (Review application)
  • Nikoali Vitti - Assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, school improvement and accountability, education transformation and performance, Miami-Dade School District (Review application)

There could be more than one round of interviews, but some board members are optimistic they could hire a new superintendent in September.

The current seven-member board selected the finalists and will conduct the interviews even though four of them will rotate off the board after the November election.

Cheryl Grymes, who was elected in Tuesday's primary, isn't happy that she won't be part of the process of hiring the next superintendent.

"I have not been part of the process, so it's hard for me to know the quality of the candidates," Grymes said. "I do have some reservations about this board being the board to select the candidate -- the superintendent -- being that the majority of this board now will be gone."

Last month, the School Board's Envisioning Committee released a report offering its opinions on what type of leader the district needs.

The main conclusions reached were that the new superintendent must be someone with professional experience, a consensus builder and collaborator, a leader, someone who can handle change properly, a person who celebrates diversity and someone who is a visionary.

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