Searching for the next superintendent

The search for the next superintendent is one of the most important responsibilities of the school board


In the context of large urban school districts, Dr. Diana Greene’s five-year tenure as Duval County school superintendent is par for the course. The average tenure for a school superintendent in a district with more than 100,000 students is about 6 years, according to a 2018 study by the Broad Center. For female superintendents, the average tenure is slightly more than 5 years. Dr. Greene was hired in 2018 to oversee the district, which has a student population of around 129,000.

Finding the next superintendent requires time. As the Duval County School District Board Policies note, “The most important and fundamental responsibility of the Duval County School Board is the employment of the Superintendent.” Some steps the board may take include:

Appointing an Interim Superintendent

Dr. Greene will leave office in early June, although her official retirement date is July 24. Florida state law requires districts to have a superintendent, so the first order of business will be appointing an interim superintendent. During the last search, Dr. Patricia Willis, a seasoned local educator, served in that role for six months.

Establishing a Profile

In past searches, the Duval County School Board spent significant time developing the profile of an ideal candidate to address the current state of the district. This was supported by an Envisioning Committee made up of parents, students, teachers, administrators, and representatives of community organizations.

Casting a Wide Net

Improving outcomes for Duval’s public school students means a brighter and more vibrant future for our city. And a strong leader for our public school system is a vital component of that. To find the best possible candidate to move our public schools forward, JPEF recommends the board conduct a national search for the next superintendent.

Seek Community Input and Foster Transparency

Fully including the community should be a part of this process, to ensure that the public is invested in the new superintendent from day one. In past searches, the board has sought community input and provided ongoing updates on the progress of the search. 

Build on Existing Momentum

Whether the board looks internally or externally for the right candidate, it will be vital for the next superintendent to carry forward existing programs and policies that are having a positive impact on student achievement. Two examples are the improved graduation rates that began under superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals and reached an all-time high during Dr. Greene’s tenure, and the narrowing of the opportunity gap for students of color. Increasing literacy rates has also been a priority of the district.

The hiring process for a new superintendent takes time and thoughtful consideration. Several other Florida districts are also searching for new superintendents, with varying degrees of success. However, finding the right candidate for the district and community is crucial, and the board will need to be diligent in their search.




of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2021-2022.