Twin storms affect Pinellas superintendent search
A hurricane named Ike and a storm we'll call "Rudy" are blowing past Miami today, placing a cone of uncertainty over the Pinellas superintendent search.
Alberto Carvalho, left, an associate superintendent of Miami-Dade schools and one of three finalists to be Pinellas' next superintendent, could not attend a scheduled second interview today with the School Board. He cited his district's preparations for Hurricane Ike. Carvalho notified Pinellas in e-mails this weekend that his district was preparing for the possibility that Miami area schools could close Tuesday -- not only because Ike might hit South Florida (which now appears to be off the table) but also because Miami schools serve as shelters for people fleeing the Keys, where Ike was a bigger concern.
Board members Linda Lerner and Mary Brown, who didn't want Carvalho back for a second interview, suggested his nonappearance was due more to the fact that the Miami-Dade School Board held a special meeting today to pave the way for the ouster of superintendent Rudy Crew. Carvalho, as one of Crew's top deputies, has been mentioned as a possible successor. According to the Miami Herald, he was at the meeting about Crew.
"The only storm that's brewing there right now is the School Board storm," Lerner said, citing her own assessment of the weather in Miami. In similar remarks, Brown expressed the same concern. Lerner urged Carvalho to get on a plane or start driving as soon as possible for a forum this evening where the public will meet and ask questions of the three finalists.
But other board members said Lerner was presuming too much about Carvalho's Miami duties and decided to reschedule his interview for 2:30 Tuesday. He may or may not be at tonight's forum. The board was expected to select a new superintendent Wednesday, but those plans might be delayed.
--Tom Tobin, Times staff writer