WUFT News

Alachua County School Board Hunting For Its New Superintendent

By on October 30th, 2013
Community members  discussed about the important features they want in the next Alachua County superintendent.

Amber Dawson / WUFT News

Community members discuss what they want in the next Alachua County superintendent.

Alachua County School Board Members held the first of three forums Tuesday night at Hidden Oak Elementary School to begin the search for the next Alachua County Public Schools superintendent.

Sandy Hollinger, former deputy superintendent, came out of retirement to lead the forum.

She collected data from the community on what she saw as the challenges the next superintendent would face, why the next superintendent should want to move to Alachua County and what characteristics community members wanted to see.

Though the board has a few minimum requirements for the next superintendent, Hollinger said, it’s not ready to talk until they hear from the community.

The search for the next superintendent will be a national search, she said.

“We want someone who comes to live in the community with all that that encompasses,” she said.

Challenges community members said the next superintendent will face include economic development, poverty’s effect on schools and a need for increased diversity among educators.

The forum was held Tuesday night at Hidden Oak Elementary School. The next two forum will take place Nov. 7 at Metcalfe Elementary School and Nov. 12 at Irby Elementary School.

Amber Dawson / WUFT News

The Tuesday night forum was held at Hidden Oak Elementary School. The next two are Nov. 7 at Metcalfe Elementary School and Nov. 12 at Irby Elementary School.

They said the future superintendent should focus on communication, community relations, leadership skills and educational programming.

Although the turnout was not as high as expected, the school board hopes to gain more community input during the next two forums.

One community member said she would ask what the candidate’s done about the disproportionate number of students funneled into the justice system and what he or she would do once in Alachua County.

Katrina Ramos, the parent of a child in the Alachua County school system, said she believed the first forum went well, but future ones could go better.

“What I’m looking for is more parents to come out, more parents to show up and more community leaders to come out,” she said.

Ramos said this was something the community should want to be involved in.

“Stop complaining and start doing,” she said. “It’s one thing to get mad about things that are going on in our community, but if you’re not going to come out to support and try to change them, then stop talking.”

School board member Leanetta McNealy, Ph.D., said community opinion is important when hiring a superintendent.

“We hope the community feels great about their input,” McNealy said. “This is not fake at all. This is true. We need input. We need people to say, ‘What do you want to see in your next leader?’”

The next forums are Nov. 7 at Metcalfe Elementary School and Nov. 12 at Irby Elementary School from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Members of the community who can’t attend the forums are urged to complete a  survey.

Hollinger said the next superintendent should be in by July 1, 2014.


This entry was posted in Education and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Education

[FILE] A file photograph showing an American Flag and empty student desks inside an Atlanta, Georgia school.

Research Shows Paddling Still Prevalent in Florida Schools

Many school districts that allow corporal punishment are in Florida’s northern rural counties, with Suwannee near the top of the list. A team of University of Florida researchers is calling for an immediate end to paddling, a source of increased dropouts and lawsuits, according to a research study.


Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 3.02.19 PM

Fundraiser Drives Marion County Elementary School Students to Create License Plate Art

By making art on license plates, elementary school students flex their creative muscles while raising money for their schools’ art programs.


Students at Norton Elementary School wait in line as they're served dinner for the first time at school. Norton Elementary now serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner; Norton Elementary Serves It All

In addition to breakfast and lunch, Norton Elementary School now serves dinner to students enrolled in its after-school program. Dinner is currently scheduled to be served at 2 p.m.


Yes For Marion County Schools table at the Journey Into Reading event at Central Florida State College. The theme of the event was "seasons" and we were designated as "winter."

Amendment 4 Could Bring Back Marion County Teachers And School Programs

On Election Day, Marion County voters will vote on Amendment 4, which calls for the millage rate to increase. The extra money will go toward school programs and teacher salaries, potentially bringing back laid-off, first-year teachers.


Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 1.22.22 PM

New FCAT Replacement Test To Be Computer-Based

The new test set to replace the FCAT this March will be computer-based. Some educators are worried the test may be a disadvantage for students who are not used to working on a computer on a daily basis.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments