Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

School District Needs More Than a Manager | Superintendent Must Be Someone the Community Can Trust

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

School District Needs More Than a Manager | Superintendent Must Be Someone the Community Can Trust

Article excerpt


he eight candidates

under consideration

to become Sarasota

County's next superintendent

of schools look good on


The question is: Which one

would look best -- in the eyes

of the School Board, administrative

and teaching staffs,

parents and students, community

leaders and taxpayers

-- as the face of the school


Superintendents are, of

course, educators and chief

executives; so, superintendents

should have positive

experiences and skills in education

and management.

But, as it has been evident

in Sarasota County during the

past two decades, successful

superintendents have had the

ability to communicate with

a wide range of constituencies

and capably represent

the school district in board

rooms, classrooms and in the


That ability and willing-ness

is vital every day, but

it is never more important

than when the school dis-trict

goes to voters in March

2018 for approval of a special

property tax that enhances

key academic programs and

maintains teacher salaries.

When the superintendent has

been trusted, the tax has been

approved; when the superin-tendent

has been distrusted, it

has been rejected.

It is encouraging that the

eight candidates still in the

running to replace Superintendent

Lori White were

recommended by the unanimous

vote of a 16-member

advisory committee, whose

members represent diverse

views and various geographic

areas of the county. Further-more,

the five-member School

Board unanimously agreed to

accept the recommendations

without deletions or additions.

Within the next month,

we'll see whether the School

Board can agree on White's


We expect the board mem-bers

to analyze the candidates'

resumes, dig deeply into their

backgrounds and consider

which one is best suited to the

tasks at hand: maintaining

and improving the quality of

the Sarasota County dis-trict,

one of only five districts

in Florida to receive an A

rating from the state; making

changes as needed, especially

at underperforming schools;

generating support for the

special-tax referendum;

continuing peaceful relations

with the union that repre-sents

teachers and classified

employees; working with pri-vate

donors and foundations

on extending crucial after-school

and summer programs;

dealing with the imminent

loss of key administrative

personnel. …

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