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“Education background, willing to learn from others” among top superintendent qualities

Our community has a shared obligation to work toward a brighter future for our city. By actively participating in the superintendent search process, we demonstrate our commitment to ensuring Jacksonville’s schools and teachers build the foundation for our children to become responsible, contributing citizens.

At the most recent round of community meetings hosted by the Duval County School Board--all attended by at least one JPEF staff member--a couple themes emerged: people want a superintendent who is trustworthy, willing to learn from others and committed to creating a positive culture in our district. Many people also voiced their desire for the current superintendent, Dr. Willis, to remain in the role permanently. There was a lively discussion in nearly every meeting about whether someone with a business background would be a successful superintendent, but most attendees argued that having a background in education, including classroom teaching experience, was more important.

As discussed recently in the Times-Union, attendance was low at multiple meetings, with the March 5 community meeting at Wolfson High School drawing approximately six people and the March 7 meeting for business leaders drawing two people. There were much higher levels of engagement, however, at the March 12 community meeting at Lee High School and the March 13  meeting for faith leaders. The meeting for district employees on March 14 was also well attended. Board Chairwoman Paula Wright informed participants that there would be more community opportunities later during the process, including when superintendent candidates come to Jacksonville for interviews.

In order for Jacksonville to reach its potential, we must work together to strengthen our education system, which starts with the superintendent. Continue to share your opinions about the superintendent search with your local school board representative and check back for updates about upcoming engagement opportunities on our superintendent page and via Facebook and Twitter.