New Duval superintendent hosts town hall meetings

First town hall meeting held Monday night at Terry Parker High School

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Answering questions from parents and community members in his first town hall meeting on Monday night, Superintendent Nikolai Vitti outlined his vision for Duval County's school district.

"I think often we have a perspective where we wait for parents to come to us, meaning the school district, and I want to go out to parents and I'm going all across this county as big as it is to say this is something new, this is different, and I really legitimately want to hear from you," said Dr. Vitti.

Vitti has said he hopes these meetings will encourage more engagement from parents within Duval County Schools.

A small group of parents and teachers joined to hear Vitti's ideas for the district.

Just a few weeks ago, Vitti revealed his 100-day plan for the school district including goals to expand early childhood education, increase graduation rates and improve teacher quality throughout Duval County.

"I think it's always best to be informed about everything anyway, even if it's not affecting us," said student Victoria Roberts.

Parents like Marla Bryant said she was impressed with the recent adjustments within the district.

"He's already come in and made sweeping changes where he has, you know, gotten rid of some unnecessary tests," said Bryant. "The teachers that I'm friends with and the parents are thrilled."

Teachers also chimed in at Monday's meeting, attempting to address the needs of their schools.

"My top concerns are revenue, we just don't have enough money to run our schools here in Duval County," said teacher Kathy Ford.

"This superintendent, he listens, and that's the type of superintendent we need," said teacher Jim Moser.

Dr. Vitti will continue the conversation about Duval County schools with a series of seven town hall meetings scheduled in the next few weeks. The next meeting is being held at Fletcher High School at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

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