Searching for a search firm
With Eric J. Smith's resignation in hand, the Florida Board of Education needs to find a new commissioner to run the state's Race to the Top initiatives and other new changes to public education operations.
Members are not waiting for Gov. Rick Scott to fill three board vacancies before moving ahead. They plan to gather at the Tampa Airport Marriott on Thursday morning to interview search firm candidates. And they plan to finish up in time for lunch.
Representatives from three firms -- Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, Noeske and Associates, and Ray and Associates -- each will get between 30 minutes and an hour to make a case for themselves. Then the board intends to discuss its options and make a selection, so it can start the process of getting someone in place by Smith's June departure.
Hazard Young recently led the search for a new Polk County superintendent, and also has conducted searches for the top state education officials in Illinois and Kansas. Noeske ran Florida's commissioner search that led to Smith's hiring, and also assisted in the Hillsborough superintendent search that ended with the selection of MaryEllen Elia. Ray is currently involved in Collier County's superintendent search, led Brevard's recent superintendent search and conducted a search for Rhode Island's education commissioner in 2009.
The first two firms have proposed a $35,000 price, while Ray's cost would be $30,000.