Florida Board of Education chooses interim commissioner
Board chairwoman Kathleen Shanahan told the board that Stewart has agreed to serve in the position and is "ready to go." Board member Gary Chartrand asked if Stewart is seeking the permanent post, and Shanahan said "she is not interested" — at least for now.
Stewart previously served as Deputy Superintendent for Academic Services in St. Johns County, Deputy Chancellor of Educator Quality at the Department of Education, and principal at Vanguard High School and Reddick-Collier Elementary School in Marion County.
The board has agreed to look for a search firm to help cast a wide net for candidates nationally. It did not set a cap on the cost for the firm, as it did a year ago, at board member A.K. Desai's recommendation.
"We can keep the prerogative of looking at the quality and efficiency," he said. "But let's not preempt it by putting a cap on at the beginning."
Once the search firm is hired, the board plans to move quickly to hire a new commissioner, perhaps in 45-60 days.